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October 19 2019
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The campus at Institut auf dem Rosenberg is a hamlet of fin-de-siecle art nouveau mansions.

You can tell a lot about a school from its most famous sons. Eton will always be defined by the flagrant smoothy and the born-to-rule—Boris Johnson, David Cameron, Anthony Eden, et al. Le Rosey is the spiritual home of the Euro gadabout and the family curse–baiter—Rothschilds, Radziwills, Rockefellers. The Dragon, meanwhile, is a petri dish for peppy actors and self-confessed attention seekers—Emma Watson, Hugh Laurie, Tom Hiddleston.

Institut auf dem Rosenberg boasts no notable alumni. That’s not because nobody went there, of course—but because almost everybody did. “Our former students are some of the most successful people in the world,” Bernhard Gademann, the fourth-generation headmaster of the Swiss boarding school, tells me. “They’re technology founders, Silicon Valley figures, members of well-established industrial dynasties—real world changers. But we have a rule that we never speak about them, I’m afraid.”

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