All of us at the Institute of International Education wish you a peaceful and happy holiday season. Thanks for all you do throughout the year to help students, scholars and other individuals around the world gain valuable international experience. We appreciate your membership in the IIENetwork, and we are particularly grateful to all those campuses who have offered emergency assistance for students from Syria and other countries facing crises, taken part in our international partnership programs, hosted threatened scholars through the IIE Scholar Rescue Fund, joined as commitment partners in our Generation Study Abroad initiative, or partnered with us on the many scholarship and fellowship programs we have the privilege to administer for our sponsors.
IIE was founded by two recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize just after the end of World War I. They believed that future wars could be averted by the exchange of students and faculty, and the long term dividends that would accrue as those fortunate enough to have an international experience as part of their education would find common bonds and greater toleration for differences. While they lived long enough to be disappointed by the dynamics that led to World War II, they did not give up the belief that what we are still doing may be the best investment any of us have in making the world a less dangerous place. For us, the dream is very much alive.
The violence facing the world today makes us even more resolved to press ahead with our work with institutions and individuals that believe in promoting international educational exchange. We are especially grateful to each and every IIENetwork member for keeping your doors open to students and scholars from countries in crisis, without regard to religion and ethnicity. Senator Patrick Leahy, Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on The Judiciary, spoke for all of us recently on the need to support refugees fleeing persecution and violence throughout the world, reminding us all that "Our willingness to take in the outsider who yearns for freedom and opportunity in America is a source of tremendous strength, whether opening our doors to Jews fleeing persecution, Catholics — including my ancestors — seeking a new life, or countless other groups, including Muslims. I am stunned that some, appealing to fear and intolerance, want to end this legacy and are launching direct assaults on these American values. To reject those of a particular faith is unwise, and it is un-American. Leaders should appeal to the best in us by embracing the shared ideals of tolerance and diversity that bind Americans together."
The issues confronting today’s leaders require the ability to understand and address both local and global challenges. In order to build inclusive and prosperous communities, future leaders must possess the knowledge, skills, and cultural understanding that can transcend the borders of our interconnected world.
We look forward to working with you in the coming years to make this vision a reality.
With thanks and best regards,
Allan E. Goodman