Having been established as the Anglo-American College in 1990, the now Anglo-American University was set to celebrate its 30-year Anniversary in 2020. However, due to the pandemic and its subsequent widespread restrictions and lockdowns, these celebrations were put on hold… here we are in 2022 finally celebrating AAU against all odds!

On the 12th of May, 2022, Anglo-American University finally celebrated 30 years. This event was commemorated with both the announcement of the book Anglo-American College 1990/91 – 2000/01: Against All Odds and the portrait unveiling of Founder and former President, Mr. Jansen Raichl. The book, about the history of AAU, is a contribution to the history of education in the transformative post-communist 1990s in Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic. This first installment comes from tenured professor, prof. PhDr. Milada Polišenská, CSc.. It examines the struggles, successes, failures, and lasting determination to establish a private Anglo-American College in Prague modeled on Western education.

Eva Rivera, Ph.D. opened our ceremony by commenting on the realities of the pandemic and commemorating AAU for battling through its various struggles and strife over the last 3 decades. She thanked the current president and Presidents Emeriti for joining in the 30-year celebration- both of Milada’s successful book launch and the portrait unveiling.

I thank Anglo-American University for surviving all its hardships to become a university of quality with a reputation much respected in academia. As we enter another era, we can only wish it all the best.

Milada Polišenská, 2022

Mr. Raichl, who was present for the unveiling (Unveiled by both prof. PhDr. Milada Polišenská, CSc. and Alena Foustková, M.F.A.), shared what an honor it was to have been painted by famous portrait artist, Maria Gabankova, and to be officially immortalized in the halls of AAU.

Alena introduced Maria, joining online from Canada, as she presented a short speech. Maria explained the process behind her work in order to capture the essence of an individual- an experience that is usually done through live interactions and being able to see your subject from all angles! This portrait, created throughout the pandemic, presented a different challenge for this artist as the majority of the process had to be done across skype screen time. Indeed this process was in itself a mirror of how AAU has been through so many challenges since its foundation and has done so thrivingly!

Preluding the secondary part of our celebration, each president, in turn, current President doc. Ing. Jiří Schwarz, CSc, P.E. Assoc. prof. Alan Krautstengl Ph.D., P.E. Petr Jan Pajas,  P.E. Doc. Ing. Lubomír Lízal, Ph.D., and P.E. Doc. Ing. Štěpán Müller, CSc., MBA expressed their wishes for AUU’s continued bright future and long term goals to continue growing a caring and inclusive community.

Following kind words about the university’s growth, it was time for Milada to finally share with us all her hard work. However, due to a temporary loss of voice, good friend and colleague, Karen Grunow-Hårsta, Ph.D., read out Miladas speech on her behalf:

This work was put together from often fragmented or unclear documents, from personal testimonies, partly audio, party written, and a variety of other sources… there was a lot of correspondence to establish contacts and “detective work” to identify who was who in old pictures. It was sometimes difficult, but always fascinating.

Milada Polišenská, 2022

This book is a pilot volume in a series intended to publish the history and accomplishments of AAU, from various authors’ perspectives and various academic disciplines from the past to the present. Should you be interested in obtaining a copy of Anglo-American College 1990/91 – 2000/01: Against All Odds, please contact Eva Rivera.

Finishing with a book signing and the clinking of champagne glasses, thank you to everyone celebrating AAU’s past, present, and future!