The Zebegény Alumni Summit held on September 26th, 2021 at the Dőry Castle on the Danube was co-organized this year as well by Quinnipiac University’s Central European Institute and the Hungary Foundation. This annual event serves as a networking opportunity for those wanting to build a better future for Hungary and the region by helping younger generations through educational and business opportunities in both the US and Hungary. It is an uplifting occasion that brought together alumni of the Quinnipiac HABL program, Hungary Foundation’s graduate scholarship alumni, as well as HF’s fellowship and internship alumni in order to provide a networking opportunity with HF’s board members, Hungarian policymakers and other guests for their further professional and personal advancement. Opening the event, Christopher Ball, Széchenyi Chair in Economics and Director of Quinnipiac University’s Central European Institute (CEI) welcomed guests back to Zebegény highlighting the paramount importance of people-to-people interactions, stressing that there is no substitute for actual presence and in-person programs such as the ones that CEI sponsors.
HF’s Executive Director Anna Smith Lacey gave a short overview of how the foundation fared in the past year and a half and introduced new scholarship recipients of its Liberty Bridge Program and the new Széll Kálmán Fellows.
We’re proud that you come from all walks of life and persuasions but all of you are hard working young people who love this country, love America and have a bright future. Your successes keep inspiring us. – Anna Smith Lacey
She emphasized that the strength of HF programs lies in its growing alumni community and in those who excel professionally and academically while keep giving back to their community. Inspired by alumni success stories, HF in 2022 will give out its first Alumni Leadership Award based on professional, academic and community engagement excellence. Alumni will be able to nominate their peers for this award in the spring of 2022. April H. Foley, Hungary Foundation’s Chair of the Board issued a call to action for all HF alumni and those present, and inspired guests to share the lessons Hungary learned since its regime change with a wider public by engaging in a vigorous intellectual dialogue.
Please ask yourself, “What can I do to enhance the understanding of Hungary’s success?” It is you who have intellectual gifts; you who have been granted special experiences. You have already achieved much. With all of this comes responsibility. – April H. Foley
We thank Christian Sauska for making this year’s Zebegény gathering possible through his generous hospitality.