In memory of Claude Janssen (1930-2021)


On the beautiful autumn morning of 21 October, we commemorated the life and achievements of our Co-Founder and Honorary Chairman, Claude Janssen. The intimate gathering in Fontainebleau was graced by Tuulikki Janssen, Claude’s beloved wife and a loyal supporter of INSEAD. All constituents of the INSEAD community were represented – the Board of Directors by its Chairman Andreas Jacobs MBA’90D, faculty by Professor Henri-Claude de Bettignies, alumni by Sébastien MissoffeMBA’05D and the entire school by Dean Ilian Mihov. Among those present were members of the Board, the Advisory Council, the INSEAD Foundation, the French National Council and INSEAD staff. 

The testimonies of the speakers illustrated the extraordinary person that Claude was – astute visionary, man of wisdom and culture, and above all, a humanist. One and all paid tribute to Claude’s passion and unparalleled contribution in building INSEAD. The most moving moments occurred when the speakers expressed their deep personal loss in the passing of a close advisor, mentor and supporter. Tuulikki made an inspiring appeal to alumni to honour Claude’s memory by being active in the school, the National Alumni Associations and by supporting INSEAD to ensure its future as a leading school in building a better world for all. 

Following the commemoration, a tree was planted in honour of Claude’s legacy. Tuulikki unveiled the plaque that will accompany the Quercus Myrsinfolia, an evergreen oak with graceful narrow leaves. Considered to be a symbol of wisdom, the tree can live well over 250 years. In the decades to come, Claude’s legacy will continue to thrive amongst generations of INSEAD students, faculty, alumni and staff.  Standing firm through the changing seasons and years, the tree will remain a living tribute to our exceptional co-founder and patron, Claude Janssen. 

To read more about Claude’s history and lasting contributions to the school, please see here. 

If you would like to make a gift in honour of Claude and his legacy, please click here. 

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