The Hungarian American Coalition co-signed a Grant Agreement in Budapest today, which will extend the Charles Simonyi Research Scholarships until 2011. The grant agreement was signed by Dr. József Pálinkás, President of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Dr. Károly Manherz, State Secretary for Higher Education and Science, Dr. Csaba Pléh, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Magyary Zoltán Higher Education Public Foundation (Foundation) and Zsolt Szekeres, Treasurer of the Hungarian American Coalition (Coalition).
Earlier this year, the Coalition received a generous grant from Dr. Charles Simonyi to fund the research scholarship grant in the amount of 30 million Hungarian Forints, which will allow the continuation of the program originally established in 2000 by Dr. Simonyi. Every year, the Foundation awards 3 million forints each to three outstanding Hungarian researchers. The scholarships are adjudicated and awarded by a seven-member committee of the Foundation.
In his remarks, Dr. Manherz recognized the importance of the scholarship program for Hungarian researchers and for the development of higher education projects and programs. Dr. Pálinkás emphasized the historic ties of Dr. Charles Simonyi and his father Károly Simonyi to the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and recognized the invaluable role of Professor Lajos Keszthelyi in shepherding this extraordinary program to a successful conclusion.
Zsolt Szekeres thanked the Foundation and its staff and Prof. Keszthelyi for their contributions throughout the years. One of the Coalition’s primary missions, Mr. Szekeres said, is to strengthen educational and cultural ties between the United States and Hungary. He called attention to the 30th anniversary of the founding the Hungarian Studies Program at the Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, which was founded in part by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the Hungarian Ministry of Education. The fate of this important educational institution is now in peril for lack of funding; Mr. Szekeres called on those present to help the Coalition’s endeavors to ensure the continued existence of the Hungarian Studies Program.
The signing ceremony was followed by a reception attended by members of the Hungarian scientific community, government officials and the media.