From April 25 to May 6, Distinguished Professor Chris Matthews eventually came back to Fulbright University Vietnam and successfully delivered the long-awaited American Politics 2022 – Home and Abroad course in-person right at the heart of our Crescent Campus in District 7.

Over eight 90-minute sessions in the two-week course, the award-winning journalist Chris Matthews had invited a diverse number of impactful guest speakers with whom he made close-knitted acquaintances over a decades-long career in politics and journalism. The discussion topics ranging from the current tug-of-war world order, Americans invading smaller countries, Democrats and Republicans, the 2022 American Elections, to the media bubbles were carefully designed to cover a wide-range knowledge in American Politics.

Applause to this long-awaited course, the last session was like a cozy farewell party filled with memorable moments of reflection, memories, fun, and emotions. There was an in-house music performance, candid pictures revealed for the first time, sweet words declared, and postcards signed.

I love the richness of the course. Similar to a page-turner that I cannot hold my excitement to finish reading the current page and hungrily turn to the next, this American Politics course was beautifully designed and well-equipped with multi-dimensional viewpoints thanks to Professor Matthews and his guests. It was truly an honor,” said Nguyen Thi Hong Hanh, Master of Public Policy Class of 2022 (MPP2022) student.

David Ignatius and Eli Stokols were invited as guest speakers in the course’s last session.

Quach Minh Phat, an undergraduate student of Class of 2024, was in awe of the chance he got to ask Professor Matthews and his guests his much-anticipated questions that could not be asked elsewhere. Though having been delivered online several times already, this is the very first time the course American Politics was held in person at the Fulbright campus. Without the constraints of online classes, students were able to get to know Chris Matthews on a more personal level as his inclusive moderation has allowed students to engage in open dialogues with him and the guests. “No longer far-fetched in the international press, American political and social issues were brought down-to-earth and accessible to all of us students at Vietnam. Personally, it was truly an eye-opening experience as I was able to witness how Americans themselves talk about American politics,” shared Quach Minh Phat.

Quach Minh Phat, a student of Class 2024, was in awe of the chance he got to ask Professor Matthews his much-anticipated questions.

The American Politics course was also open for registration from Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam (DAV) students. Though cannot join the rest of the class in person at the Fulbright campus, Dau Thi Hong Hanh – a DAV student shared “Truth to be told, this is the first time I have ever learned American Politics from Americans themselves. Since we mostly acquired the knowledge via books or the Internet, I was so excited when first informed about this course and that Professor Chris Matthews would come to Vietnam directly. Today is already our last session but I personally wish it could be longer so that we could have more time chatting with Prof. Matthews and ask him our most hardball questions.”

Apart from dedicating most of his time at Fulbright lecturing about American Politics and Media, Professor Matthews also chatted with students and faculty members to envision Vietnam in the future’s volatile world. “A good metaphor and also the hardest and most important lesson you need to learn when coming to big cities in Vietnam is how to cross the street in which traffics are coming in an unstoppable throng. Just as this young nation has to deal with China, Russia, and the United States, you have to learn how to walk and stride evenly across the street, try to maintain your confidence and those vehicles will ride around you,” affirmed Professor Chris Matthews.

Before joining as a Distinguished Professor, Professor Chris Matthews had been a close friend to Fulbright University Vietnam and delivered several speeches and lectures relating to communications and writing. “His dedication, his contacts from a decades-long career, and most importantly, his generosity to Fulbright, a young university halfway across the globe, never fail to amaze me. It is such an honor for all of us at Fulbright University Vietnam and our students to be able to embark on this journey with the renowned journalist Chris Matthews outside their regular classes,” shared Ms. Dam Bich Thuy, President of Fulbright University Vietnam.

Phương Mai

After two years of unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, Fulbright University Vietnam is honored to welcome in-person the award-winning journalist Chris Matthews as a Distinguished Professor in American Politics and Media.

Dedicated to his decades-long career in politics and journalism, Chris Matthews is an award-winning journalist, author of eight books, and was the host of Hardball with Chris Matthews, one of MSNBC’s longest week-night talk shows from 1999-2020.

Previously in Spring Term 2021, Professor Chris Matthews, along with his high-profile guest lecturers, has virtually delivered the course on “American Political Communications”. Though being constrained by the limitation of online learning, Chris Matthews’s classes were like a cozy get-together series. Nguyen Vu Tung Lam (Class of 2024) shared: “To me, it was like the professor invited his friends over for a coffee chat and we were just glad to join in that conversation. The beautiful thing about this is that they did not filter out or give us a curated version of that talk like people normally do in the media. They were very willing to openly share with us, a small community at Fulbright, the talk that supposedly only happened between themselves.”

This Spring Term 2022, with Prof. Chris Matthews right at the campus of Fulbright University Vietnam delivering the breadth and depth of American Politics for the first time in-person, the course will only be guaranteed to exceed every expectation. The two-week course starting on April 25 will discuss eight current topics from the crisis in Ukraine to the US Elections in 2022. Enrollment in this course is limited to 30 students, who must complete a written application explaining their motivation for taking the course. The course will also be open to a limited number of external auditors. Throughout the course, Chris Matthews will be accompanied by a number of influential figures not only in America but also the world to enable a large array of viewpoints and foster multi-dimensional discussion, thus, allowing students to hone their abilities for critical thinking, analyzing, and evaluating based on evidence.

I’m excited to visit Fulbright University Vietnam the second time and chat directly with the most ambitious, eager-to-learn young learners after some time teaching halfway across the globe. I can only imagine that I will be gladly challenged, again, with numerous “hardball” questions coming from Fulbright students”, shared Prof. Chris Matthews.

Guest speakers of this American Politics include Michael S. Schmidt, Douglas Brinkley, Jon Meacham, Chuck Todd, Margaret Carlson, Michael Duffy, Donna Edwards, Susan Page, Ron Reagan, Ann Klenk, Bob Gardner, Yamiche Alcindor, Howard Fineman, David Ignatius, Nkechi Nneji, and Eli Stokols.

Chris Matthews, award-winning journalist, author, and television anchor has been appointed Honorary Visiting Professor of Fulbright University Vietnam. Along with other famous American writers, he will be teaching a course on communications and writing virtually this winter term. Mr. Matthews will join Fulbright in person when it is again safe to travel internationally.

“We are so thrilled that Chris Matthews, a veteran news anchor, will join Fulbright as an honorary visiting professor. It will be a great opportunity for the Fulbright community to learn from the internationally leading experts in the field, which I believe will help us to broaden our horizon and further our essential skills to stay adaptive in an evolving integrated and changing world,” said Dam Bich Thuy, Fulbright Founding President.

“I am very excited and honored to be a part of the Fulbright University Vietnam family,” said Matthews. The prominent journalist added that he will invite the top names in American journalism and communications to join him in the classroom.

“I hope to introduce the Fulbright community to the best television hosts, columnists, speechwriters and social media experts our country has,” affirmed Matthews.

Matthews vising Fulbright University Vietnam as a guest speaker, December 2019

Joining Matthews in his lectures on communications will include MSNBC anchors Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, Katie Cunningham from the communications social media staff of US Senator Ed Markey. He also invites journalist Bob Woodward, historian Jon Meacham, and opinion writer for the Wall Street Journal Peggy Norman to deliver lectures on writing.

Christopher Matthews has spent most of his decades-long career in politics and journalism. Born in Philadelphia, he attended LaSalle College High School, obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. He did graduate work in economics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

From 1968 through 1970, Matthews served as a Trade Development Advisor with the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Mines in the Kingdom of Swaziland. He did so as a volunteer with the US Peace Corps.

Returning home, he began a fifteen-year career in government and politics from 1971- 1986 that included serving as a presidential speechwriter to President Jimmy  Carter and later worked for six years as Chief of Staff to longtime Speaker of the House of Representatives Tip O’Neill and served on the staff of Senators Frank Moss and Edmund Muskie

Beginning in 1987, Matthews entered full-time journalism as a columnist with the San Francisco Chronicle. In 1996, he began a TV career, appearing each weekday night for 26 years. Most recently, he anchored “Hard Ball with Chris Matthews” on MSNBC from 1999- 2020. Matthews is the author of eight books. He has been awarded 34 honorary doctoral degrees from institutions of higher learning.