Dear cherished friends of Fulbright University Vietnam,
Earlier this week, I was deeply touched while watching a video of the unconventional “live show” that the renowned saxophonist Tran Manh Tuan performed for the patients and healthcare workers in an empty courtyard of a COVID-19 makeshift hospital in Ho Chi Minh City. This act of kindness was a reminder to all of us that although we cannot choose the situation we find ourselves in, we can always choose how to face it, no matter how tough it may be.
After two years battling this unprecedented pandemic, it was love that gave us the strength to keep going, to be resilient against all odds. Love is what we share in solidarity with our community. Love is the strength that carries us through unprecedented challenges, which we would have to face for an unforeseeable future. Love is what drives us to care for and share with the unfortunate ones, not because we are responsible citizens, but because we are human. Together, we will get through this difficult time with love.
That was the reason why Fulbright initiated the virtual mini concert #SupportSaigon to call for donations to help those who have been severely affected by the pandemic. Due to the timing sensitivity of this project, we only had three days to turn this idea from conception to reality. Thanks to the joint efforts, #SupportSaigon was able to come to life, ever so vibrant, lively, and meaningful. Until today, #SupportSaigon has received a total of 558,940,090 VND from 294 transactions, all of which have been sent to the “0 VND Mini Mart”, helping more than 900 impoverished households to have enough food and necessities for nearly a month.
We understand this is the time for such a pioneering educational institution as Fulbright University Vietnam to work harder than ever before to fulfill our responsibility to the society. Instilled with academic and public values – the core pillars that Fulbright has cultivated 25 years ago, three members of the University participated in a special task force to aid the efforts of the Ho Chi Minh City’s administration to monitor, prevent, contain, and mitigate the spread of COVID-19. I would like to sincerely thank Dr. Vu Thanh Tu Anh (Group Leader), Dr. Pham Duy Nghia, and Mr. Nguyen Xuan Thanh from the Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management for their hard work and dedication.
My dear friends,
The pandemic has turned HCMC from a dynamic and energetic metropolis into a quiet and desolate town. However, we believe that this pandemic cannot interrupt our quench for new knowledge and cultural values. In our most difficult time, Fulbright still managed to virtually host a variety of events, ranging from a talk with Ms. Patricia Norland – author of the book “The Saigon Sisters: Privileged women in resistance,” to the YSEALI Academy’s flagship seminar on Energy Economics and Policy. The Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management also recently adjusted the admissions format and timeline for the Master of Public Policy 2021-2023 Program (MPP2023) to ensure the program is accessible to all passionate candidates.
Though the world economic has been ravaged by the effect of the pandemic, we are tremendously thankful to receive generous donations from various supporters and organizations. Specifically, the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) just announced the financial commitment of $37 million via a 20-year direct loan to support the construction of Fulbright University Vietnam’s new campus in Saigon Hi-tech Park, D9. This support means the world to us as we continue our journey to build a world-class institution in Vietnam, for Vietnamese students.
Because there will always be light at the end of the tunnel, I believe these dark days, too, shall pass, and the sun shall shine brighter than ever before.
With the sincerest gratitude,
Dam Bich Thuy,
President, Fulbright University Vietnam