On the evening of November 18, 2009, the U.S. Embassy in Macedonia welcomed several hundred Alumni of U.S. exchange and study programs. The Reception was held in the Embassy Atrium and is the largest public gathering inside the Embassy to this date.
The Macedonian-American Alumni Association partnered with the Embassy to invite its members: Fulbright and Humphrey Fellows, Ron Brown and Ben Franklin Fellows, Alumni of the Junior Faculty Development Program, participants in the International Visitor Programs and journalists who took part in the Professional Development Year program at US journalism schools. Other attendees at the Reception included Alumni of long-term Military, Judiciary and Police training programs and USAID development programs.
Our flagship exchange, the Fulbright Program, is the ongoing legacy of Senator William J. Fulbright. He recognized that after World War II it was essential that Americans learn from an experience abroad and that students and scholars from other countries have the opportunity to learn about America by attending our universities and visiting our country.
In the 18 years since Macedonia declared independence, nearly one thousand citizens of Macedonia have been on an exchange or study program. Many of these Alumni are business and government leaders, mid-career professionals, accomplished university faculty and students with great promise and potential. The Embassy sees these Alumni as the leaders of today and of tomorrow and the embodiment of our Declaration of Strategic Partnership. .
Ambassador Reeker praised the accomplishments and contributions of the Alumni to Macedonia. He indicated that the exchanges represent Americas most important investment in the future of Macedonia in its people and its leaders.
Ambassador Reeker also noted that State Department exchange programs have included a remarkable cross-section of Macedonias rich and diverse society and affirmed that, of the one billion dollars we have spent in assistance since Macedonia declared independence, I am certain that nothing has had more long-term impact than our training, education and exchange programs.
Minister of Education Nikola Todorov joined the Ambassador in giving opening remarks and the Ambassador pointedly thanked the Macedonian Government for their decision to begin an annual $100,000 contribution to the Fulbright Student Program, thus increasing the number of Fulbright students from Macedonia studying in the United States.
Many of the Alumni expressed their pleasure at seeing such a wide variety of professions and colleagues represented at the Reception. They shared the value of their exchanges with each other and with us in these video statements.
Αναδημοσίευση από http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05Dyc6DrVsE