One of the most precious gifts that Fulbright has received is the collective support fostered by the multi-generational students. Fulbright students, both current ones and those who have long graduated, have been supporting the School’s development through their active participation in the university’ activities and fundraising efforts. For those master degree holders, it is a lifelong commitment with Fulbright to nurture liberal education focused on empathy and community-mindedness, as well as to inspire and empower the next generation of change-makers.
The class gifts that fuel liberal education
The current students and alumni from Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management (FSPPM) have made a significant contribution to the Giving Week’s Fund. It is the solidarity and sustainability of a community with diverse backgrounds and interests cultivated over the past two decades. Graduated years ago, members of Fulbright Economics Teaching Program (FETP), the former institution of FSPPM, have gone a long way in their own pursuits, yet still sustained their tight knit relationships with each other and with Fulbright.
Generations of the Master Program gathered at the Opening Day of Giving Week, participated in the Fulbright Fun Run, Giving Fair, and other exciting activities. There was an invisible urge pervading the FETP/FSPPM alumni community, which ignited a lot of ardent discussions in response to the donation.
“Immersed in the excitement of Giving Week 2022, the FETP 13 (2007) classmates got together to discuss how many trees and bricks to donate. We would like to thank the Organizing team for inspiring us with meaningful activities on the Opening Day of Giving Week,” proudly shared Ms. Lê Thị Quỳnh Trâm, an alumna of Class of FETP 13. In addition to nearly VND40 million (approx. US$1,700) donated for the Student Development Fund, they also contributed one “tamarind tree” and three “bricks” to support the construction of the cutting-edge and environmentally friendly flagship campus in Saigon Hi-tech Park, which will soon welcome master and undergraduate students to liberal arts education.
“Following the suggestion of Ms. Trâm and Ms. Yến (FETP 13), I circulated the donation announcement in the Fulbright School Alumni (FSA) community and also posted on FETP 13’s private Facebook group. The FETP 13 classmates discussed the goal number of donations and together made contributions. At the end of the campaign, the number exceeded our expectation, not to mention the individual contributions were directly sent to the School,” Mr. Lê Trung Nam, Director of Fulbright School Alumni. It has created a momentum for other classes’ donations, following FETP 13, FETP 11 (2005) contributed two “bricks”, MPP7 (2014) donated one “brick” while MPP4 (2011) gave one “tamarind tree” and one “sapling”.
Thus far, FSPPM’s alumni and current student community has contributed nearly VND150 million (approx. US$6,500) to support campus construction and social projects of Fulbright’s students.
Fulbright School Alumni: the constellation of actors
Managing the network of Fulbright alumni over the years, Mr. Lê Trung Nam believes that the transparency and integrity inspired by lecturers and the learning environment have glued the different personalities together. Besides, since 2015, the efforts of active members from FSPPM, such as Mr. Quý Tâm (Chief Interpreter and Alumni Relations Manager) and other alumni, in organizing connecting activities, 20th and 25th anniversary of the FSPPM’s establishment, field trips and regular conversations (FSA Talks, seminars), which help strengthen the solidarity of this community.
As fellows, the alumni always behave in a respectful and friendly manner regardless of their social status and backgrounds. Thanks to such cohesion, alumni and current students are always supported by their fellows in every walk of their lives. This is an essential vision of liberal education at Fulbright: train individuals to not only excel skills and harness enthusiasm, but also nurture empathy to support each other and create collective efforts towards the development of Vietnam and the world.
“I really believe in the power of education to change the world. It motivates me to contribute to the development of Fulbright through FSA’s activities. The alumni community has always desired to further support the School’s development, starting with the establishment of an Endowment Fund. Having Fulbright’s direct funding channel [like Giving Week] makes the donation even more convenient,” Mr. Lê Trung Nam shared about FSA’s plan with excitement.
The only requirement when Fulbright grants students and masters students financial aid or scholarships is a commitment to serve the community and pass on the legacy to future generations. Thus, their knowledge, skills and networks they acquire at Fulbright can contribute towards development progress for a better Vietnam and the world. The donation of FETP/FSPPM individuals and classes is a statement of that belief and commitment. Receiving love, efforts, both in-kind and cash donations, Fulbright is proud of the growing community of alumni and current students, which empowers Fulbright in making liberal arts education more accessible and nurturing the academic passion inside the young generation.
About Giving Week 2022
Giving Week is an initiative at Fulbright to bring our community closer, to appreciate each other’s passion and dedication for education, as well as to create a tradition of unity.
Fulbright Giving Week 2022 wishes to Empower Changemakers through many exciting events, to name a few: Giving Fair; Human Library; Art Exhibition, Music Show.
Each VND500,000 (approx. US$22) is equivalent to a sapling, VND10 million (approx. US$440) is presented by a brick and 20 million (approx. USD 870) can grow a tamarind tree. Those are essential donations to construct our District 9 Campus.
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About Fulbright School Alumni
Since 1995, more than 1,500 students from all over Vietnam have graduated from the Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management (FSPPM), formerly known as the Fulbright Economics Teaching Program (FETP). Our alumni are making an impact in a diverse range of roles within the government, the broader public sector, the not-for-profit sector, and private organizations in 60 of the total 63 provinces nationwide.
The Fulbright School Alumni (FSA) network is hugely diverse and provides a valuable lifelong network of fellow graduates and public policy professionals in Vietnam. FSPPM alumni stay connected to the School and have a significant impact on our academic development and operation. Academically, they support the School teaching efforts with different capacities, be it guest lecturers, tutors or teaching fellows, or student mentors. As for research and outreach, FSA members work closely with faculty as analysts and collaborators, bringing in local understandings valuable to research questions.