On September 15th, 2016, Concordia held a dedication ceremony for our permanent facility within the Van Tri Golf Compound in Dong Anh. Many special guests attended the event, including the U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam, Mr. Ted Osius. The Ambassador spoke at the event, highlighting Grace Ritzema (Class of '17), a Concordia alum who was a National Merit Semi-finalist, and how Concordia's high-quality American education enriches Vietnam's success and the relationship between the U.S. and Vietnam. You can read his full remarks below:
Mr. Winkelman, Mr. Robertson, Distinguished guests, Ladies and gentlemen,
I am honored to be here today to dedicate a beautiful campus and to publicly recognize the years of time, effort, and commitment put forward by so many people to bring Concordia to this point. Even more exciting is what Concordia can and will contribute to the future of this community, this city, and this country.
As a father, like many of you, I want a world-class education for my kids. But more than that, I want them to get involved with their community, to learn the value of service, to appreciate diversity, to respect others, and to develop a commitment to excellence. These are things we all want for our children, but they are not always so easy to find. At Concordia, these are core values. By committing yourselves every day to these core values, Concordia’s students, teachers, and administrators will all have a profound impact on this community.
As Ambassador, I know first-hand that a world-class education is critical to attracting top talent to any organization. When people begin to hear that we have a National Merit Semi-finalist like Grace Ritzema right here at Concordia, they take notice. By providing a top-level education, Concordia will help attract investors, businessmen, and developers from across the country and across the world to Hanoi, where they know their children will have access to a high-quality, American education. It will give Vietnamese children access to an American education right here in Hanoi. It will help expand access to American colleges and universities. And it does not stop there. We hope that all of you from Concordia’s first graduating class will come back and engage with Vietnam. This engagement will enrich both the U.S. and Vietnam.
At the American Embassy, we spend a lot of time working with our Vietnamese counterparts on what I like to call “Joint Endeavors.” Broadly speaking, these are areas in which we believe the United States and Vietnam can work together here to drive Vietnam’s success and to expand the cooperation between our countries. Since 1995, education has been at the top of our list. We have found over the years that diplomats and government officials can only do so much to bring people together. But each of you is in a position to reflect our shared values to the world. Each of you not only represents your country, but you represent all that is possible when we come together, promote education, and invest in each other. This investment will not only drive Vietnam’s success, but it will build the foundations for strong relationships across Vietnam and across the world. Congratulations!
- Concordia History