The Aiglon College We Remember

...a school where friends learned so much, loved so much, and went on to do great things.

Recollections of Aiglon College Alumni

Photos courtesy Line Stump Magnin

Aiglon College, a Swiss international school near Montreux, was founded in 1949 by John Corlette, an educationalist who spent time teaching at Gordonstoun with Kurt Hahn, the founder of Outward Bound. Taking a cue from his mentor, Corlette believed that rich cultural experiences, spiritual exercise, service, and strenuous physical challenges should be co-curricular with academics. Today, many schools have adopted that formula. But several decades ago, "JC" was an important pioneer.

In early 2015 a former student, Allen Kurzweil, published a book about his one year at Aiglon: 1971–'72.  While the book is mostly about a roommate who allegedly bullied him and Allen's dogged determination to call him to account years later, it is also in places an indictment of the school's entire ethos. This website is not intended to justify any bullying that took place on the mountain in the early '70s—or later. But it does try to present another side of the school at that time. For many of us, Aiglon was a magical place. And as several decades have passed, many alumni have come to view JC's educational vision as surprisingly sagacious. Certainly, if imitation (albeit often desultory) is the sincerest form of flattery, it should be instructive that John Corlette and other pioneers of experiential, holistic education appear now to have very large fan clubs worldwide. At least some of us believe that should serve as some sort of vindication for the man who thought all students needed to learn to be a bit more comfortable with frequently feeling uncomfortable.

This site is not affiliated with Aiglon College, Switzerland, in any way. All the opinions expressed are those of Aiglon alumni, and all costs incurred in maintaining the site are borne by former students.