It was with immense sadness that the International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES) received the news of the death of Jean-Louis Juvet, President of the CIES Council of Foundation from 1999 to 2008.
Jean-Louis Juvet was born on 12th July 1930 in Fontaines, in the canton of Neuchâtel, where his father was a communal administrator. Jean-Louis would go on to attend Business School and then the University of Neuchâtel, where he obtained a bachelor of Economic Science in 1953. Following a period of study at the University of Paris, he returned to Neuchâtel in order to write his PhD thesis. He became a Doctor in Economics in 1956. A nice anecdote is that he financed his studies by working as a ski-instructor; an early sign perhaps that he would eventually become the President of the CIES one day, as his interest in sport was always clear and remarkable. Indeed, Jean-Louis was still skiing just only last winter.
With his Doctorate successfully completed, he returned to Paris, where he was engaged as an international official for the European Organisation of Economic Cooperation (which would later become the OECD). Here, he participated in the implementation of the Marshall Plan, which was the American support for European reconstruction after the end of World War II. In 1964, the University of Neuchâtel would engage him as a Professor in applied economics “ad personam”, with the support of the National Swiss Fund of Research. For around 30 years he was engaged in his work as Professor, as a general director at the “Comite international de la rayonne et des fibres synthetiques” in France and as an international consultant in Europe - particularly in Brussels and in Paris. Jean-Louis Juvet also held the position of Vice-Rector of the University of Neuchâtel from 1971 to 1975. In addition to these functions, he also participated in the creation of the World Trade Institute (WTI, Berne, Switzerland) in the 1990’s. There can be no doubt, he was a very active man and with a diverse number of interests.
Despite approaching the age of retirement, he became a member of the CIES in the first few months that the foundation was created. He then became volunteer President of the institution, because “he had time”, as he said. It is thanks to Jean-Louis that the International Master in Management, Law and Humanities of Sport was created, which is today more widely known by the name of the “FIFA Master”. The idea was captivating and the FIFA, the University of Neuchâtel, De Montfort University in Leicester (UK) and the SDA Bocconi School of Management of Milano all joined the project with the CIES. The success is significant as 450 students have now graduated from the course since it was first created. Indeed, Jean-Louis often said that he should have paid for having the opportunity to be part of such an exciting task. Indeed, he was an enthusiastic and engaging man.
We should also not forget that since 2003, Jean-Louis Juvet also supervised the creation and development of the International FIFA/CIES University Network. Here, he successfully instilled its basic course principles of respect, openness to the world and team spirit, all of which still guide the work of the 16 partner universities today.
Firm without being authoritarian, he enjoyed to guide and persuade. Visionary and dynamic, his deep respect for everyone, his kindness, his cultural awareness and his warm personality all made him a person of whom his company was well appreciated by everyone and everywhere in the world. This was clearly demonstrated when in 2008, during the graduation ceremony of the “FIFA Master” course, Jean-Louis Juvet received an Honorary Doctorate from De Montfort University. This was a fitting and well deserved recognition – and also a nice present, as the ceremony on that day was by coincidence his birthday too.
A passionate and huge connoisseur of classical music, he could recognize a piece of music just by hearing the first three notes. He enjoyed, therefore, his later position as President of the Association of Young Swiss Musicians.
Married to Madeleine, a father of three children and grandfather of four grand-daughters, he enjoyed inviting friends and colleagues to his home in order to cook a delicious risotto or to allow them to taste a butter-cake, which is a Neuchâtel speciality, and which he would bake in the wood oven in his garden. With a love of the mountains and long walks with his dog, he took part in the harvesting of the wines owed by his son with the same energy he gave to everything he undertook. Jean-Louis was so dynamic and young in mind that he seemed to be immortal. But there is no exception and it is a great man who has now departed from us.
The CIES owes him a huge debt of gratitude and we thank him very much. We extend all of our sympathies and best wishes to his family.