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Why I give

ZIS Parent Noelle Kaegi
“There are so many good causes out there, but this one is particularly important to us”.

ZIS Parent Noëlle Aigrain-Kaegi (2001-05) says that investing in the new campus is all about a special Middle School experience. Learn more

Ceyda Avunduk
“Education has always been a big topic in my household”

Alumna Ceyda Avunduk (1989-2001) explains why she has made a gift to the ZIS Campaign. Learn more

ZIS Director Lisa Lyle standing in front of the Lower School
“We need flexible spaces that allow learning to happen in lots of different ways.”

Director Lisa Lyle says that the new campus will enable ZIS to build the future of learning.

ZIS Parent, Erik Kaas
“My kids won’t benefit, but it’s good for the long-term strategy of the school”

ZIS Parent Erik Kaas says that for him, the new campus is all about showing vision.

Why give to ZIS?  And what can you expect if you do? We spoke to five members of the ZIS community about why they backed our campaign.

Are you looking for a way to make a difference to the lives of ZIS students? The new Middle and Upper School Campus, will transform learning spaces and opportunities at ZIS for students of all ages. The project has been made possible with the generous support of our community – so if you haven’t already, we hope you’ll also consider supporting The Campaign for ZIS: Building the Future of Learning.

Dan Holzmann

When I heard about the plans for the new Middle School, I was convinced it would be a milestone – and the perfect opportunity I had been looking for to give something back. I see a huge upside in having one big campus for everyone – it will benefit not just the kids but also the parents, logistically speaking! That’s why I decided to get involved.

I believe in the power of education and think it is worthwhile to invest in. In fact, one of the best uses of money is for bettering the educational system, for the kids, the future. I hope the impact will be in supplying better conditions for teaching and learning and in facilitating the practice of applying the material taught. It will help create more space for kids to discover where their strengths and interests lie.

As a father of three kids who have all attended ZIS since early childhood, I am very happy with the education that the school has offered them. I consider it important to give back to society, and of course to education, as much as is in my power. We are fortunate to be able to live in Switzerland and send our kids to such a school as ZIS. The joy of giving is something everyone should experience as often as possible, each within their own possibilities.

Dan Holzmann
Parent to Eve (Grade 11), Misha Class of 2026 (2010-2022) and Joshua, Class of 2023 (2008-20)



Join Dan and build the future of learning


Ceyda Avunduk

My experience at ZIS had a profound effect on me. It’s where I learned to be a global citizen. From taking part in the Model United Nations to being fully supported by the school in my love of competitive tennis, it was unforgettable. I started there at the age of three and went right the way through to graduation. And I want others to have that experience, too. That’s why I chose to donate to the Middle School.

I’ve already been involved with several school projects, such as arranging internships for Upper School students with my startup and giving them a taste of what it’s really like to run your own business. But I feel that the Middle School project is something very special.

Of course, as an alumna of ZIS, I admit to feeling a little sad that the building where I spent my formative years will be going. But the school is growing, and it simply doesn’t fit the existing building anymore. It’s an incredibly inspiring project. When I showed the plans for the new building to my eight-year-old, he was amazed. He said: “Is this really a school?” He was so excited by the fact that all these facilities – a media center, a gym, a Makerspace area – are right there on campus. Nobody will have to drive to any activities or to any other school building once the new Middle School is complete. To be honest, when I looked at the plans, I felt the same – they were giving me a top 10 US university vibe!

Ceyda Avunduk
Class of 2001 (1989-2001), parent to Ali (Grade 5) serves on the John Mattern Alumni Award for Faculty committee

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George Quinn

I love the concept of the new Middle School and I like the way it’s been designed. It’s great to have a lovely new building. But for me, the building itself isn’t the most compelling part of the proposition. It’s about the future it represents: the potential for children. Thinking about those who came before us, they also did a fantastic job for the school, in what I am sure were far more difficult circumstances. This latest project is just another part of that natural process of renewal.

I am also mindful of the big picture. For me, ZIS is key to helping parents who move here become familiar with their new home and become part of a community. Many of the big banks and insurance firms here in Zurich have an international workforce, so the school is an important factor in helping to attract talent.

That’s why, when I was approached to see if Zurich Insurance and other financial companies would consider a corporate contribution to the new Middle School, I was happy to help. As so many of us are involved with the school one way or another, we know how this new facility will make a difference. The entire process of giving was very smooth: once we had made that commitment, we trusted the school to allocate the resources in the right way.

Many ZIS parents – myself included – are relatively privileged. I think it is good for us all to reflect on the role our education has played in where we are today. I am a great admirer of the ZIS philosophy of education. Children are taught subjects, of course, but they are also encouraged to be curious and explore that curiosity, rather than just read a book and answer questions. I’m excited to see how having fantastic facilities like the new Middle School will help trigger those interests.

George Quinn
Chief Financial Officer of Zurich Insurance, and parent to Samuel, Class of 2016 (2007-16), Alexander, Class of 2020 (2007-20) and Lewis Class of 2022 (2008-22)

Join George and build the future of learning

Noëlle Aigrain-Kaegi

I’m an alumna of ZIS and now my daughters are there too. And while the school is very close to our hearts, we’ve also seen the challenges that the older building brought to the Middle School. We knew that the school had grown so much and the students really needed more space. So, when we heard about the Middle School project, we were keen to be involved. It was a very straightforward process, and once we’d seen the plans, we were in!

There are so many good causes out there, but this one is particularly important to us. Education, in general, is something we care about deeply. When I was growing up, my father always told me that education was the key to everything. He was right, of course, and I believe that now more than ever. So why not invest in it?

We also wanted to make the Middle School experience very special. It’s such a big transition and a very formative period in our children’s lives – the time when things get real! We want ZIS students to have a Middle School where they can thrive, learn and explore, and the new building is a key part of that. After all, our children spend a lot of their time at school. We want that time to be well spent.

When you send your children to a school, what you’re actually doing is putting your trust in that school. There’s nothing more precious than your own children: trusting others to educate them is a big deal. If you trust the school, then look into how you can give to the school. Help them to make the experience even better for not just your children but all the students. Look to the future where we’ll need good people and good leaders. For that, we need them to be educated well.

Noëlle Aigrain-Kaegi
Class of 2005 (2001-05) is parent to Tirja (Grade 7) and Sarah (Kindergarten)

Join Noëlle and build the future of learning

Claudia Scheiner

As a ZIS board member, I’ve had a chance to see first hand exactly why we needed to build a new Middle School. The Villa, of course, was never built to be a school, so while it will be sad to see the students leave, it’s long been clear that we need a new space – somewhere where students have state-of-the-art facilities, where they can have a great learning experience. And building projects have always spoken to me as a philanthropist. When you help to create a building, you are helping to create something which is built to last. It’s a good feeling to know that I am part of that.

ZIS has such a long-standing tradition; the school will still be standing years from now, long after my son has left. I believe it’s there to stay for future generations. The building shows the strength of the school. Creating this new facility demonstrates that we are thinking of the future, not just the short term.

The feeling you have towards your children’s school is very personal. I am trusting this community and these teachers with my most precious belonging – and for that, I’m willing to make a gift. The school is helping to make my child into the person they will be. It makes sense to give back to the institution which has helped my son grow, in order for future generations to profit from that, too.

I would say to any fellow parent considering making a gift, take a step back. Look at the big picture. With any organization, there will always be points you don’t agree with. Think, instead, “Is this the place where I want my children to be? Can I help make it better?” If the answer is yes, then get involved.

Claudia Scheiner
ZIS board member since 2017, and parent to Roy in Grade 12.

Join Claudia and build the future of learning