CULTURE

Fulbright Program names 2003-04 scholars

The moment came (on June 20, 2003) for US Ambassador to Greece Thomas Miller, honorary president of the Fulbright Educational Foundation in Greece, flanked by his wife Bonnie and the foundation’s managing director Artemis Zenetou, to announce that Thalia Tzanneti, graduate of the University of Macedonia had been awarded the Fulbright-Yiannis Kranidiotis scholarship to Columbia University in New York. Tzanneti will study international relations in the university’s Department of International and Public Relations in the year 2003-2004. «We’re very happy, thanks to Greek and American private and public support, to send 35 Greek winners of the scholarship to the USA,» Ambassador Miller said. «Higher education is a sector the USA is strong in and the Fulbright Program can help Greek students overcome the problem of paying for fees and living expenses. We’re similarly enthused that 19 Americans came to Greece during the academic year 2002-2003 in order to carry out research and study Greek culture and civilization.» The recipients of the scholarships this year are graduates of large Greek universities as well as the American College in Greece, doing courses in fields such as dance, musicology, information technology, environmental economics, architectural design, etc. They will study at universities like Columbia, Stanford, MIT, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, and others. The Fulbright Program in Greece is the second oldest in the world. «Since 1948, when the program was set up,» Miller noted, «over 4,000 American and Greek academics and learned people have been able to study in the USA and Greece.» The list of Fulbright scholars includes names such as poet George Seferis, who won the Nobel Prize in 1963, and former Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou who came to Greece in 1959 as an American academic to teach at the University of Athens. More recent scholars are Nikiforos Diamantouros, European Ombudsman; Lucas Papademos, vice chairman of the European Central Bank; Mina Pelegri, first and only woman academic in aeronautical engineering at Rutgers University, and artist Sia Kyriakakou, who is representing this country at this year’s Venice Biennale art festival. Helbi would like to remind readers that the founder of the program, the unforgettable James William Fulbright, was awarded the International Cultural Prize by the Onassis Foundation in a formal ceremony conducted at the Old Parliament building at the beginning of the 1980s. He came, received the award, uttered his thanks and met other distinguished erstwhile scholars. For further information, see the website (www.Fulbright.gr).