Dear cherished friends of Fulbright,
Perhaps not even the most optimistic of us can avoid feeling blue and anxious as we wake up to pessimistic news about the pandemic every day. As we are all dreading the prolonged social distancing, I want to share with you some of Fulbright’s efforts in staying connected with the community as a way of building resilience in this seemingly endless fight.
From the webinar on Vietnam’s vaccination strategy in the context of the fourth wave of Covid outbreaks, to discussing the sustainable development of the Mekong Delta under the pressure of environmental changes, and the conversation between an Amazon executive leader and our undergraduate students, Fulbright has once again proved our ability to pioneer and lead vibrant dialogues addressing important issues of our time, those that are vital in the society in general and particularly in the community of professionals.
The active participation and eager engagement of the people in these aforementioned virtual events showed their great demand to have a strong foundation of knowledge to lean on, to learn about and discuss these crucial matters in life, despite the fact that each of us was fighting our own battles and combatting against the negativities from this global pandemic. There is no time like now for educational institutions like Fulbright to keep striving our utmost for the mission of cultivating and nurturing such lively endeavors, intellectually and mentally, for our society.
Growing up under bombs and bullets, studying late at night under the kerosene lamp in an underground shelter, witnessing our nation sharing each grain of job’s tears in the subsidy era, I have always believed that the love, the giving spirit of each person in the community, and the strong hope in a better future are the compass directing us through such jarring quests.
These past months, I got to witness that spirit at Fulbright. From the internal One Week – One Fulbright (Giving Week) campaign to the contributions towards Vietnam’s Covid-19 Vaccine Fund, Fulbright’s faculty, staffs, students, and alumni have been “giving” in many ways. Giving was gifting a brick or a tree or making other material gifts to Campus Building and Students Fund for Research and Community Service. Giving was writing a grateful note to the “silent knights” like the tea ladies, the administrative staff, finance team, and facility people, etc. without whose commitment Fulbright would be a train without wheels. And giving was also donating to the Vaccine Fund to join hands in our nation’s shared efforts of battling the pandemic.
That culture of giving, of inspirational values was not confined within the Fulbright community. Despite the financial burdens due to Covid’s effects, many donors still continue endowing their trust in Fulbright as a way of entrusting their belief and hope for the future in quality education. Such precious supports are also a reminder for us to keep working harder to be worthy of all the trust that our society has graced upon Fulbright.
As this message reaches you, Fulbright is accelerating Campus Building in the Saigon Hi-Tech Park D9, which has been a bit delayed by the effect of Covid-19. Preparing for the future during the most challenging times like this allows us to foster our resilience and hope for the journey ahead. Fulbright looks forward to welcoming you all to the site, when circumstances permit, to witness the construction of an important future intellectual hub from the very first entrusted bricks from the people.
Wishing all of us the power to stay strong and tough while finding inner peace amidst this strenuous period.
With the sincerest gratitude,
Dam Bich Thuy
President, Fulbright University Vietnam