EAIE Past President Giancarlo Spinelli passes away

EAIE Past President Giancarlo Spinelli passes away

Giancarlo Spinelli, Past President of the EAIE, passed away on 15 September 2017 at the age of 72. Giancarlo was a staunch supporter of the EAIE since its beginning and served as President of the Association in 1997.

Fostering growth in the internationalisation of higher education was always a priority for Giancarlo, evident through his continued dedication to both his career and the EAIE. Following his presidency, Giancarlo remained involved with the EAIE, frequently volunteering as a conference speaker and receiving the first EAIE Transatlantic Leadership Award in 2009.  He was a member of the EAIE Awards and Talent Committee from September 2014 up until the time of his death. Giancarlo was Rector’s Delegate for International Networks and Professor of Rational Mechanics at the Politecnico di Milano, Italy. There he was responsible for the Erasmus programme from the time it was founded and active in the ECTS since it was a pilot project.
Of his presidency with the EAIE, Giancarlo stated, “An association has to keep its main goals in focus. In other words, it has to define what is at the core of its own existence.” Current EAIE President, Markus Laitinen remembered Giancarlo, “Besides being a true gentleman, Giancarlo was also a very gentle man – always helpful, never in a bad mood, and friends with everyone regardless of their country, age, gender, etc. He was active and innovative to the very end, the epitomy of a dedicated international officer. On behalf of his EAIE friends and colleagues from across the globe, we offer our thoughts and deep sympathies to Giancarlo’s loved ones.”
Giancarlo’s passion for international higher education embodies the core of the EAIE’s existence and his dedication will forever be remembered.

The EAIE remembers Giancarlo

”Giancarlo has always been such a nice and devoted person, personally as well as professionally. I was so happy to hand over the Presidency to him and to cooperate closely with him during that period. Typically of Giancarlo, a young relative of mine who happened to come as an Erasmus student to the Polytecnico was so encouraged that he remained in Milano! Giancarlo will be greatly missed and warmly remembered.”
Marianne Hildebrand (EAIE President 1996)
“Giancarlo and I were next to each other in line as EAIE presidents and hence worked very closely together for several years. We became friends. Giancarlo was an EAIE member of the very earliest days. He was part of the EAIE bedrock. Ever courteous, ever kind and always ready to share his knowledge, his ideas and his quirky enthusiasms.”
Linda Johnson (EAIE President 1998)
“I learned with great sorrow to have lost a good friend and stupendous colleague. Giancarlo was a role model of an internationaliser, never giving up, always pushing for progress and continuously elaborating arguments to convince the stubborn and help higher education to become more international. Especially the technical universities would not have developed so swiftly without Giancarlo’s engagement and conviction. I will miss a noble friend and a wonderful host, as we all do.”
Wedigo De Vivanco (EAIE President 2001)
”Such a loss. Indeed a gentleman, good fun, forward looking, helpful, and passionate about his subject and the role it played in international education. We will miss him.”
Tim Birtwistle (EAIE President 2002)
“Ginacarlo will be missed by many both in personal and professional circles for he was both a great mind and a delightful person. He dedicated his life to the university and to internationalisation – our world needs more Giancarlos.”
Fiona Hunter (EAIE President 2007–2008)
“Always the gentleman, Giancarlo was the perfect host, impressively erudite, a cultured and inspiring companion, be it at the dinner table, when strolling the streets of Milan, or attending a meeting or a session in Europe or in the United States. That Giancarlo was an extraordinary intellectual and academic capacity goes without saying, and his interests and vast knowledge went far beyond his professional field. For me, Giancarlo was a renaissance man, embodying ideals of enlightenment and humanism. We all will remember his bright smile, his wonderful sense of humour, and his commitment to international higher education. I will miss him.”
Bjørn Einar Aas (EAIE President 2008–2010)