January 20, 2023

2022 Year in Review

January 20, 2023

Read the full 2022 Year-in Review newsletter HERE

Dear cherished friends of Fulbright University Vietnam,

It seems just like yesterday that we held our Convocation for the Undergraduate Class of 2026 and our Class of 2024 Master in Public Policy students. In just four months, we concluded the Fall semester, new faculty and students have settled in, and many of us are already engaged in planning for the next academic year. Soon, our first graduation will be upon us, giving us much to celebrate as many of our students leave and start making new impacts on their endeavors. It has been a special year, and this is a special message; please allow me to reflect on our past journey and give way to what has yet to come.

Powered by the faith that knowledge and education are the foundation for development and transformation, a small group of us, with support from the Vietnamese and U.S. governments, continued the tradition of the Fulbright Economics Teaching Program to establish Fulbright University Vietnam in 2016. Early in the formative stages, the founding team worked tirelessly to determine what Fulbright hoped to achieve as a new, young university in Vietnam, and to identify priorities that were fundamental to our establishment. In each step, the focus was on what would be required to elevate the University to the next level of national, and in the future, international stature. A theme that went across the entire institution was the need to recruit an ever more diverse and outstanding cohort of faculty and students, enhance teaching, research, and public service programs, and continue to improve facilities even beyond what is deemed the best in Vietnam.

Starting from ground zero, we are now blessed with almost 700 undergraduate students, 200 Master in Public Policy students, and more than 90 faculty members. In just a few more months, we will have our first group of graduates, joining more than 1580 alumni from the Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management to form a close-knit community of Fulbrighters, ready to take on the world. This milestone has not come about by magic or by luck but has resulted from important choices and hard work from each and every person at Fulbright.

Speaking of our people, I do not even hesitate to affirm that we at Fulbright have grown in many ways since the first day of our establishment, and in one way or another, that growth is likely to continue. We are an active, exciting community filled with individuals from varied backgrounds pursuing goals that are as ambitious as they are diverse. It means we have our differences. But instead of avoiding them, we learn to treat each other with respect and kindness. And I trust that this culture has been instilled in our community strong enough so that in the future, no matter how much we expand, in numbers or in space, we are still one Fulbright, one community, sharing one mission: “To create the next generation of change-makers in Vietnam for a rapidly evolving world.”

And our first generation of change-makers will leave our nest in June.

My dear students of the Class of 2023,

I still cannot forget the way I felt as a student on graduation day. I remember the rows of empty chairs neatly laid out on the quad, waiting for us, new graduates in our caps and gowns, to fill them out one by one. I remember the heartfelt conversations, the laughs and the tears, and the promises to keep in touch even when school was over. But more importantly, I remember a sense of accomplishment, an eagerness to charge into this world of the unknown, proving myself and my worth. In just a few months, that will be you.

Within the scope of this letter, I would like you to take a moment to pat yourself on the back for the dedication, perseverance, and inspiration you have demonstrated so far. Take a moment to remember and acknowledge the joys, the challenges, and the gift of friendship you have made on your journey. Take a moment to breathe and enjoy the last months of your student life because you will miss it, or at least I did.

Thank you for believing in Fulbright and being a part of our community. I have no doubt that the sky is your limit. But when you are in doubt, just know that we are here for you, now and always.

My dear friends,

My journey with Fulbright University Vietnam has been action-packed, emotion-ladened, and fulfilling. In the past eight years, I got the opportunity to renew old friendships, make new ones, and more importantly, live and breathe in the air of young, talented, bright students. And I appreciate deeply the good wishes and the offers of help that extend our way in our moments of joy or challenge.

On my final, personal note, I just want to say that I am tremendously proud to be associated with this University, with you. I am certain that the next President will continue driving this University forward to meet the vision that the founding team envisioned eight years ago.

For now, in this new year, please join me to bid farewell to something old, welcome something new, and be open to something change.

With the sincerest gratitude,

Dam Bich Thuy

President, Fulbright University Vietnam

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