A graduate program in Hungarian Studies is again available in the United States. The Balassi Bálint Institute, Hungary’s main government agency for cultural diplomacy, has donated an endowment of $250,000 to Indiana University at Bloomington to establish a Postgraduate Fellowship in the Hungarian Studies Program.
At its 2009 Board meeting, the Hungarian American Coalition adopted a resolution to encourage fundraising for the Bloomington program, one of the cornerstones of Hungary’s presence in higher education in the United States. In January 2011, members of the Coalition turned to Balassi Institute to encourage the speedy disbursement of the endowment and offered continued support for the program.
Established in 1979, Indiana University’s Hungarian Studies Program is currently the only program in North America that offers MA and Ph.D. degrees in Hungarian Studies. The program enjoyed strong support from the Hungarian Government until 2007, when the subsidy was suspended. This suspension of financial assistance made it impossible to continue the program. However, with the new endowment, the program is again in place.
Michael A. McRobbie, President of Indiana University, expressed his appreciation for the generous endowment and stated that the “contribution plays a vital role in elevating the university’s rich tradition of academic excellence.” As he formulated in his letter to the Director of the Balassi Institute, “through your support, the university is better positioned to continue to foster excellence in teaching and service, as well as the achievement of scientific, theoretical and artistic endeavors.”
The endowment will remedy the financial difficulties of the Hungarian Studies Program, ensuring its continuity. Meanwhile, the Coalition will review additional fundraising possibilities to support the program.