FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 17, 1998
Release No. 03-98
CONTACT: Lois Herrmann
PHONE: (202) 619-4365
E-MAIL: lhermann@usia.gov

United States Information Agency
- News Release

FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO HUNGARY DONALD BLINKEN ENDOWS FULBRIGHT GRANT FOR HUNGARIAN STUDENTS

Washington -- The Honorable Donald Blinken, after serving as U.S. Ambassador to Hungary for almost four years, has provided personal funds to establish a new Fulbright grant for a Hungarian graduate student to study government, public administration, or economics at one of the State University of New York (SUNY) Centers in Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo, or Stony Brook, New York.

The fellowship, which will be given annually, will be known as the "Fulbright-Donald and Vera Blinken Graduate Student Grant." The selection criteria and the grant administration process will be identical to that followed by the Hungarian Fulbright Commission for all Fulbright grants.

Ambassador Blinken said about his decision to endow the grant: "As two of my most compelling interests have been higher education and U.S.-Hungarian relations, it seemed very logical to combine these two themes in a scholarship for a Hungarian student to a SUNY University Center. Because of my great admiration for the Fulbright Program, we asked their staff to administer this annual scholarship."

Before departing for Hungary, Blinken had served for 11 years as chairman of the SUNY Board of Trustees. Now living in New York City, he is working, among other activities, on the formation of an international board of overseers for the recently founded Central European University based in Budapest.

The Fulbright Program was established by Congress in 1946 "to increase mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and the people of other countries." Named for its sponsor, the late Sen. J. William Fulbright, the program is the U.S. government's premier international educational exchange program.

Grants are awarded on the basis of academic merit and professional promise to U.S. students, teachers and scholars and to foreign citizens to study, teach, lecture, and conduct research.

The program is administered by the U.S. Information Agency under policy guidelines established by a presidentially-appointed 12 member board known as the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

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