Dear cherished friends of Fulbright University Vietnam,
The new academic year of 2021-2022 has officially begun. Our first-ever online Convocation, crowned with ceremonial drumbeats evoking a time-honored tradition for Vietnamese students and Fulbright University Vietnam alike, transcended the usual trappings of a virtual webcast to impart its empowering and emotive message. Whether it’s a freshman thrilled with her budding college experience, or a student who successfully gained entrance to our Master in Public Policy program 2023 at the Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management, all shared the excitement of becoming members of the Fulbright community, where everybody learns and grows together, in which each person is encouraged to explore and develop into the best version of themselves.
This year’s Convocation marked not only the start of a new school year. Listening to our distinguished guests and students’ addresses, I believe it signified so much more than that. Above all, the ceremony was reflective of a year, fraught with adversities and affliction, called for courage and resilience in every exerted effort of ours in the face of hardship. Despite its challenges, I personally believe the pandemic also presents to us an unprecedented opportunity: the opportunity to re-define the “new normal” and make our community a better, safer one. As Associate Professor Nguyen Lan Hieu, a frontline doctor and our main speaker at the Convocation ceremony, said: “The pandemic is like a shower of rain that washed away the glorified veneers entrenched in our society. It has revealed the old ways of doing and thinking, those that shall be replaced by the new, specifically the young thinkers and doers – like many of you present here today – who will be at the heart and forefront of our country.”
My dear friends,
While we are gradually emerging from the pandemic, perhaps we have all recognized the fact that intrinsic to our strength in dealing with today’s volatile world and its unforeseen challenges is the pivotal role of intellectual curiosity, relentless grit, love, and empathy. Such is why Fulbright University Vietnam always strives to create an academic experience that nurtures well-rounded individuals who are well-versed not only in critical issues facing society today but equally capable of meaningful actions, integrity, and purpose. They will become critical and creative thinkers and doers who can find their own way to contribute to society while pursuing causes and endeavors they hold dear.
For the past five years, we have gone through many ups and downs in our quest for excellence and social good, but we are also emboldened by early breakthroughs and proud achievements to confidently forge ahead. From fresh-faced students who won our undergraduate scholarship as well as our hearts for their shining talent and passion to our undaunted stalwarts of community-based projects, Fulbright members are, each in their own unique way, contributing every day to what has been recognized as the “Fulbright DNA”: an educationally tight-knit community with a global mindset firmly rooted in Vietnamese culture, an organization that connects and unites those who possess a pioneering spirit and the desire to do good.
Looking back on our journey and with profound hope for the future, I’d like to conclude with a quote from Dr. Vu Thanh Tu Anh’s speech in our Convocation ceremony: “[…] with our vision, solidarity, determination, and commitment, we can make the impossible possible.”
With the sincerest gratitude,
Dam Bich Thuy
President, Fulbright University Vietnam