The American Club of Lille (ACL) is an English-speaking non-profit association created in 1991 under 1901 French law.
ACL members include Americans and people fond of American culture. They share their common cultural background by gathering for US national holidays, cultural events, and in small groups around similar centers of interest.
Through an active online exchange, ACL members also help American newcomers in the difficult transitioning of adjusting to a foreign culture.
Board of Directors
From left to right:
Mi Young Clément, Treasurer
Marianne Weidel, President
Robert Kulp, Founder
(Not pictured, Christopher Ancona, Vice-President)
Robert Kulp started the American Club of Lille in 1990 when, by chance, he met other Americans and felt that it was in the American spirit to create an American Club. Early on the Club had a newsletter, and an Association 1901 was formed in 1991.
From the beginning, American Club of Lille members had to accept as a fact of life a fluctuating membership: Lille is a city where expatriate Americans tend to come and go.
In the beginning, the American Club of Lille members used to have evening coffee klatches at someone’s house.
From the start American Club of Lille members started celebrating Thanksgiving and come what may, they never missed a year in 15 years. It started small in a restaurant in Lambersart. By word of mouth it reached a peak of 200 people for the 3rd Thanksgiving. It was mayhem. Club members decided that only Americans and English-speaking friends could attend. One year the club held a joint Thanksgiving with the Franco-American Club of Lambersart and the British Community Association.
-Robert Kulp, January 2007