September 23, 2014
A Celebration to Remember the Past and to Honor the Dignity of the People of Ukraine
When the Maidan Revolution of Dignity became a catalyst for the transformation of Ukraine, we realized that Kyiv Mohyla Academy played a significant part in the process of building the nation through education.
The role of a new generation educated based on freedom, academic autonomy, and the dignity of the individual was crucial in this process that changed society and the status quo of corruption, tyranny through fear, and disregard for the law. We celebrate the young people whose dignity, idealism, and moral fiber led them to change Ukraine and challenge the world’s leaders. We celebrate the visionaries and teachers who believed in their mission after the fall of the Soviet Union, and continued the four hundred year tradition of educating leaders for the nation in a spirit of freedom and dignity.
Celebrating the four hundredth anniversary of Kyiv Mohyla Academy, Ukraine’s oldest university, became the signal to honor the Ukrainian nation at this time of crisis, when the people of Ukraine are again fighting for their independence. The events in Chicago and Washington D.C. were filled with the spirit of support for Ukraine.
In Chicago, awards for support of Ukraine and education were presented to Senator Dick Durbin; Senator Mark Kirk; Ambassador William Green Miller, co-chairman of the Kyiv Mohyla Foundation; and Dr. Vyacheslav Bryukhovetsky, university chancellor. In Washington, awards were presented to the Congressional Ukrainian Caucus (Members of Congress Marcy Kaptur of Ohio, Sandy Levin of Michigan, and Jim Gerlach of Pennsylvania accepted on behalf of the Caucus); to the U.S. Helsinki Commission (the Commission’s chairman, Senator Ben Cardin, accepted the award); to Freedom House (accepted by President David Kramer); and to Librarian of the Library of Congress, Dr. William H. Billington (accepted on his behalf by Ambassador Miller).
It was an honor to welcome the distinguished guests from Ukraine: Dr. Serhiy Kvit, Minister of Education and Science; Dr. Vyacheslav Bryukhovetsky, Chancellor, who was responsible for re-establishing the university after the fall of the Soviet Union; Dr. Volodymyr Morenets, Acting President of NaUKMA; Dr. Tetiana Yaroshenko, Director of NaUKMA Library; Dr. Andrij Meleshevych, Dean of NaUKMA School of Law; Nataliya Popovych, President of PRP Group and Co-founder and Co-director of Ukraine Crisis Media Center and a graduate of NaUKMA; Yulia Maleshevska, whose youtube video “I am Ukrainian” had over 7 million hits within two weeks; Yevhen Khmara, who on the Maidan played the piano, that became the revolution’s instrument of protest; Vasyl Ilaschuk, actor and producer, and Andrij and Oles Chernyuk, directors at Golden Gate Studio.
We are humbled and grateful for the support from all our friends, supporters and sponsors, and the support and collaboration of members of Congress who helped us make this special occasion memorable and meaningful. We will never forget the extraordinary support of the Ukrainian community and our friends. We will never forget the powerful program opening in Chicago, when the dancers from the Hromovytsia Dance Ensemble and the SUM Choir of Chicago performed to enthusiastic applause from the audience.
May God bless the people of Ukraine and the sacrifice of those who gave their lives for freedom. May God bless all the faculty members, students, alumni, and visionaries who believed in the power of education. Long live Ukraine. Long live National University of Kyiv Mohyla Academy. Slava Ukraini!
Marta Farion Kyiv Mohyla Foundation of America