An Iowa alumnus settled in London, England, Alex Boyce first started thinking about connecting with fellow alumni living across the pond when he was asked to speak to a class of students as part of the Tippie College of Business’ Winter Study Abroad Program.
“That got me thinking [about] how it would be really good to speak with other Hawkeyes about the expat experience,” Boyce said.
However, he said, the catalyst came in 2014 when Tippie Dean Sarah Gardial came for a visit and the Iowa basketball team held an exhibition match.
“I just thought, ‘Right, someone needs to get the word out as I’m sure a lot of people would be gutted that they missed these opportunities,’” he said.
Two years later, the London IOWA Club was born. Spearheaded by Boyce’s passion and efforts, the club had its first meeting on March 3, 2016. Boyce said the first meeting was a success with about a dozen attendees.
Alumni Alex Boyce and John Wilson attend the first London IOWA club meeting.
“There seemed to be good interest overall,” the former Iowa swimmer said. “I think a lot of that may be driven by the fact that the majority of us are expats so people were also just enjoying the ability to speak with fellow Americans.”
Boyce graduated from the UI in 2005 with a BBA in Finance and currently works as the vice president of a financial advisory firm. He’s lived in London for nine years and, of his favorite things about the city, he says he loves the slew of opportunities and diversity the most.
“There are a million things to do in the city from theatre, concerts, pop-up events, etc. If we feel like mixing it up, we can get the train to Paris or an hour flight to a beach in Spain,” he said. “Also I love the multicultural diversity of the residents here. It gives you such a unique perspective when you meet and befriend people from completely different countries and backgrounds.”
Boyce has a lot of hope for the London IOWA Club to serve as both a community for alumni to stay in touch with the UI while also serving to grow the UI brand internationally. Although early in the club’s age, Boyce has already began to reap its benefits.
“I think the best part of starting this club has been the people that I have met. A club is only as good as its membership and I have to say that I have gotten along with all the alumni that I have met so far,” he said. “I am also really happy at the support and interest coming from the University. It is really good to know that the camaraderie stays even when your time in Iowa City is done.”