Projects and Accomplishments

The Coalition’s Projects and Accomplishments in 2018

The Hungarian American Coalition is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization founded in 1991.  Its mission is to identify and promote the interests of the Hungarian-American community.  Its goals are:

  • To foster appreciation of Hungary’s history and culture;
  • To protect and preserve the human and minority rights and cultural heritage of Hungarians throughout the world;
  • To encourage educational and cultural interaction between the people of the U.S. and Hungary;
  • To support democratic institutions and economic development in Hungary
Education and Culture
 
  • Implemented the “Coalition Internship Program” (CIP) funded by a grant from the Hungary Initiatives Foundation and the Pannonius Foundation.  In 2018, the Coalition sponsored the internship program of eight Hungarian university students.  The selected students were:  Orsolya Lőrincz, Nikolett Nagy and Liza Eleonóra Borovoj (Global Entrepreneurship Network, Washington, D.C.); Viktória KatonaTatjána Turányi and Annamária Kránicz (Center for European Policy Analysis, Washington, D.C.); Balázs Kiss (International Tax and Investment Center’s (ITIC) Energy Growth and Security (EGS) Program, Washington, D.C.); and Konrád Ferenczy (Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development, Washington, D.C.).
     
  • Participated in June 2018, in the 11th annual Roll Call of Nations organized by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.  Over 50 embassies, foundations and organizations presented wreaths at the Victims of Communism Memorial in honor of the more than 100 million victims of Communist tyranny since 1917.
     
  • Continued the administration of the Bognar Family Hungarian Scholarship Fund.  With the help of the program’s founders, Dr. Bela and April Bognar, thirty-seven students received stipends for the 2018-2019 academic year: four scholarship recipients are enrolled in universities in Hungary; three scholarship recipients are studying at colleges in the Subcarpathian region of Ukraine; twenty-eight scholarships were awarded to Hungarian students admitted to universities in the Transylvania region of Romania and two scholarship recipients study in the Vojvodina region of Serbia.  On December 15, 2018, California-based The Ambassadors of the Future (AF) will host a Benefit Gala at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel (Beverly Hills, CA) honoring Doris Buffet, one of the scholarship program’s major donors and will raise funds in support of the Fund.
     
  • Awarded fifteen Hungarian university students the Dr. Elemér and Éva Kiss Scholarship Awards for the 2018-2019 academic year. The winners are: Luca Csanády, pursuing a Master’s Program in International Business at Hult International Business School in San Francisco, CA ; Zoltán Csikós, studying at the University of North Texas School of Music in Denton, TX; Zsombor Csuport, enrolled at Siena Heights University in Adrian, MI; Janka Deli, admitted to Stanford University’s Stanford Program in International Legal Studies (SPILS); Ramóna Győrfi, pursuing undergraduate studies in Psychology, Sociology and Anthropology at Lake Forest College in Lake Forest, IL; Benedek Kiss, an undergraduate student in Physics at Covenant College in Lookout Mountain GA; Sarolta Lukovszky, a freshman studying Sport Management at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO; Nino Obanor, an undergraduate student in Computer Information Systems at the University of Missouri St. Louis in St. Louis, MO; János Perczel, a PhD student in Physics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA; Barna Szász, pursuing graduate studies in Documentary Film and Video at Stanford University in Stanford, CA; Enikő Tóth, studying Psychology at Los Angeles City College in Los Angeles, CA; Domonkos Vámossy, a PhD student in Economics at the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, PA; Anikó Viktória Varga, pursuing a PhD in Psychology at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, OH; Mariann Varga, a graduate student in International Policy at Stanford University Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies; and Máté Vincze, attending Master of Fine Arts in Graduate Filmmaking at New York University New York, NY.
     
  • Publicized and distributed six 2018 issues of the Hungarian Review the English-language affiliate of the bi-monthly journal, Magyar Szemle, edited by Gyula Kodolányi and John O’Sullivan.  These important editions provide a comprehensive overview in English of the current political and cultural situation in Hungary.
     
  • Approved grant of $45,000 for Korunk, a well-known Hungarian literary magazine in Cluj Napoca (Kolozsvár), Romania.  The grant will contribute to update the magazine’s website and online appearance; to salaries of the staff and contributors, as well as copyright fees; and to the reconstruction of the headquarters and other infrastructure investments. The grant is made possible by a donation to the Coalition from the Cultural Foundation for Transylvania (CFT).
     
  • Approved a grant of $30,000 for the Bolyai Society (Bolyai Társaság), Babeş-Bolyai University’s foundation in Cluj Napoca (Kolozsvár), Romania. The grant will contribute to modernizing the foundation’s website and online appearance; publication of manuscripts and re-release of previously issued publications; the implementation of research programs and events; and certain infrastructure investments. The grant is made possible by a donation to the Coalition from the Cultural Foundation for Transylvania (CFT).
Information and advocacy
 
  • Operated an Office of Information in Washington, D.C. since 1991.
     
  • Hosted a visit of Dr. László Brenzovics, the sole ethnic Hungarian deputy in the Parliament of Ukraine in Washington D.C. Dr. Brenzovics, who is President of the Cultural Alliance of Hungarians in Transcarpathia, met with U.S. officials, policymakers and academic leaders,  provided first-hand information on recent legislative measures which violate the rights of the Hungarian national minority in Ukraine – in particular, the recently passed education law, which severely limits native-language instruction.
     
  • On July 5, HAC Treasurer Zsolt Szekeres attended the first day of a three-day conference, „XXVI Kárpátaljai Nyári Szabadegyetem” in Felsőszinevér, Ukraine (Transcarpathia), a joint program of the Kárpátaljai Magyar Kulturális Szövetség (KMKSZ – Hungarian Cultural Association of Transcarpathia) and the Pro Minoritate Foundation, the Hungarian government foundation which supports minority initiatives in the surrounding countries. Zsolt Szekeres participated in a roundtable discussion on Hungarian National Policy moderated by Zsuzsanna Répás, Head of the Department of International and Transborder Hungarian Relations of the Hungarian Academy of Arts. Several Hungarian government officials also spoke: Péter Szilágyi and Barna Pál Zsigmond, Member of the Committee on National Cohesion of the Hungarian Parliament. Other roundtable participants were leaders of Hungarian minorities in Transylvania, Slovakia, and Croatia.
     
  • Maintained contact with US Embassy officials in Hungary. On November 14, 2018, Coalition President, Andrea Lauer Rice and Treasurer Zsolt Szekeres met with US Ambassador to Hungary David Cornstein and Deputy Chief of Mission David Kostelancik.
     
  • Coalition President Emeritus, Max Teleki met with officials at the State Department, the National Security Council and Congressional offices, as well as with Hungarian Ambassador, László Szabó.
     
  • Disseminated Noticed in the Press, a selection of newspaper articles from American and Hungarian newspapers on topics of interest to Coalition members and supporters.
     
  • Continued to update the Coalition’s home page (www.hacusa.org).
Hungarian American Community Affairs
 
  • On January 13, 2018, Hungarian American Coalition Board member, Dr. Péter Forgách was inaugurated Honorary Consul of Hungary in Buffalo, NY. Dr. Forgách will fulfill his duties in Upstate New York.
     
  • On January 31, Hungarian American Coalition Board member, Dr. Endre Szentkirályi was elected President of the United Hungarian Societies in Cleveland at the Cleveland umbrella organization’s biennial meeting.
     
  • On April 25, 2018, hosted the Coalition’s Fourteenth Annual Gala Dinner at the House of Sweden in Washington, D.C., under the Honorary Chairmanship of H.E. János Áder, President of Hungary.  This year’s honorees were Dr. Jeanette Gecsy Grasselli Brown, scientist, businesswoman and philanthropistand The Ferenc Rákóczi II. Transcarpathian Hungarian Institute, headed by Dr. Ildikó Orosz. For this occasion, the Coalition produced a short video on Dr. Brown’s accomplishments which is available at the Coalition website. On Dr. Orosz’ behalf, Dr. László Brenzovics, Member of the Ukrainian Parliament, accepted the award. At the Gala dinner, President Emeritus Max Teleki announced that the Coalition Internship Program has been renamed the “John. N. Lauer Leadership Program.” Mr. Lauer, who passed away recently, was a longtime, generous supporter of the Coalition and educational scholarships, as well as a role model and advisor to many.
     
  • Attended the Third Regional Diaspora Meeting on May 19, 2018 hosted by Ambassador Dr. László Szabó at the Embassy of Hungary in Washington, D.C.  Approximately 40 Hungarian American community leaders attended the conference, representing organizations based in the South and the Washington D.C. area. After the meeting, Coalition President Andrea Lauer Rice attended the annual Hungarian Charity Ball, organized by the Coalition’s member organization, American Hungarian Heritage House.
     
  • On May 5, 2018, Coalition President Andrea Lauer Rice and Coalition member Réka Pigniczky, creators of ‘Memory Project: Hungarian American Visual History Archive’, a project co-sponsored by the Coalition, received Friends of Hungary Foundation’s award at the 5th Friends of Hungary Conference in Budapest.
     
  • Attended and co-sponsored the third annual Saint Stephen of Hungary Pilgrimage to the Our Lady of Hungary chapel on the day of Saint Stephen, August 20th, in Washington D.C. followed by a Hungarian Picnic.
     
  • Attended and co-sponsored 10th CEPA Forum, the leading annual transatlantic security conference in Washington D.C. held on September 24 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center with theme of “Winning the 21st Century–Allied Strength and Solidarity.” Over 300 guests attended the Forum, which has become the single largest and most prestigious annual gathering of CEE officials, experts, and industry leaders in the United States.
     
  • Attended and co-sponsored a conference entitled ‘Carl Lutz: Righteous Among the Nations’ hosted by George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs on October 23 honoring Carl Lutz, Swiss diplomat who rescued 62,000 Jewish people from the gas chambers in war-torn Hungary between 1944-45. The event featured Ambassador Martin Dahinden of Switzerland and Frédéric Hayat, member of G.I.L., Reform Jewish Community of Geneva, who rendered a complete picture of Lutz’s activities and the audience could also hear personal memories of Ágnes Hirschi, stepdaughter of Carl Lutz. The audience included Professor Charles Gáti, the Lindenblatt brothers, and Katrina Lantos Swett, whose father, the late Honorable Tom Lantos were all saved by the courageous diplomats.
     
  • Attended and co-sponsored the 5th Atlanta Hungarian Festival on October 27, helping bring traditional Hungarian recipes to life and working with children on arts and crafts. The more than 600 festival goers got a taste of Hungary, celebrated Hungarian heritage and commemorated the 1956 Hungarian Revolution.
     
  • Attended the 8th Annual Diaspora Council meeting on November 15, 2018 in Budapest at the Hungarian Castle Gardens.  More than 70 leaders and representatives of organizations worldwide participated, including over 20 Hungarian American attendees, many of which were Hungarian American Coalition members.  The Coalition was represented by Coalition President Andrea Lauer Rice.
     
  • Organized the traditional end-of-year Coalition events in Washington, DC.  The events included the annual Mikulás Dinner, and the Annual General and Board Meetings.  The keynote speaker at the Mikulás Dinner was The Honorable Damon Wilson, Executive Vice President of the Atlantic Council.
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