Ambassador Hall’s Remarks at the Signing Ceremony of the Fulbright Memorandum of Understanding
March 30, 2017
Honorable Minister, Fulbright program participants and alumni, ladies and gentlemen,
Thank you for joining us today to celebrate an important moment in the relationship between the United States and Lithuania that will help bring together the citizens of our two countries closer together. I am honored to sign this memorandum of understanding which will ensure that the prestigious Fulbright program will continue to connect Lithuanian and American scholars for many years to come.
Senator J. William Fulbright, for whom the 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. Since then, I am proud to say that more than 500 Lithuanian and American Fulbrighters — students, researchers, and professors — have participated in building deep ties between our academic institutions and our countries.
Lithuanian Fulbright alumni have made enormous contributions to Lithuania in a time of remarkable change. They are top scientists, leading politicians, important business leaders, artists, and other present and future leaders of Lithuanian society. All of you standing in this room today are proof of the program’s success and the strong bonds that tie our two nations in friendship.
Now, with this Memorandum of Understanding, the Government of Lithuania joins all the states in the European Union in making a financial commitment to the Fulbright program by providing the international travel expenses of the Lithuanian Fulbrighters. We look forward to working with you to select the students and professors who will participate in Fulbright exchanges and to an exciting future of new relationships between individual scholars and Lithuanian and American academic and research institutions.
And now, honorable minister, I welcome you to say a few words as well.