Ambassador Hall Remarks at the Fulbright Tea
Ambassador’s Residence, Vilnius
September 13, 2018
Honorable Minister, Fulbright program participants and alumni, ladies, and gentlemen,
Thank you for joining us today to welcome our newest Fulbright participants to Lithuania and to celebrate the importance of the Fulbright program with our alumni and guests from the Ministry of Education.
Senator J. William Fulbright, for whom this program is named, said many decades ago that “The Fulbright Program aims to bring a little more knowledge, a little more reason, and a little more compassion into world affairs and thereby to increase the chance that nations will learn at last to live in peace and friendship.”
Those words were especially meaningful when the Fulbright program came to Lithuania 25 years ago and since then, more than 500 Lithuanian and American Fulbrighters have exchanged places to deepen the ties between our academic institutions and our countries.
Lithuanian Fulbright Alumni are high achievers who have made an enormous impact in their fields and here in Lithuania. Their ranks include top scientists, cutting-edge journalists, important advocacy leaders, artists and other present and future leaders of Lithuanian society.
For example, this year, an alumna, Dr. Aurelija Blaževičienė, who works at Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, introduced an innovative Advanced Nursing Program into the curriculum, which is a first in the Baltic states. This is vital and important work for the medical sector and will undoubtedly have tremendous impacts in patient care, research and development, and in many other areas as well.
Professor Leonas Valkūnas of Vilnius University has received several commendations for his international scientific research in Theoretical Physics, including the National Prize of Science of Lithuania and is putting Lithuania on the map as a leader in research.
Professor Dalia Leinartė was re-elected as the Chairperson of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). She is the only the second woman from Eastern Europe to hold this position.
Živilė Raškauskaitė is a reporter for Deutsche Welle in Germany where she reports on migration topics and produces multimedia stories from Israel for a Tel Aviv based news agency Tazpit.
These examples, as well as the alumni and grantees standing here today, are proof of the program’s success and the strong bonds that tie our two nations in friendship.
It is in this spirit that I want to – once again – thank the Minister of Education, Jurgita Petrauskiene, for her continued support. And now, honorable minister, I would be delighted if you would say a few words.