As a Minister of State at the German Federal Foreign Office, an alumnus of SAIS and on behalf of Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, I am delighted to congratulate the School of Advanced International Studies in Bologna on its sterling work over the last 65 years. As part of Johns Hopkins University, you can be very proud of your achievements and long-standing traditions. Your work underlines the importance of genuine scientific cooperation across national borders, which is paramount in these challenging times.
SAIS Bologna, known nowadays as SAIS Europe, was founded in 1955 by Grove Haines. It is located in the city of Bologna, which is home to one of Europe’s finest and oldest universities and is known for its vibrant social and political life – making it the perfect gateway to Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.
SAIS Bologna and its central office at Johns Hopkins University are renowned throughout the world for their outstanding scientific tradition. From its early beginnings until today, it has earned an international reputation for promoting the exchange of academic ideas. The school has an impressive diversity of some 200 students from more than 40 countries. In addition, Bologna cooperates closely with SAIS in Washington and the Hopkins-Nanjing Center in China.
First and foremost, SAIS devotes its work to the idea of international education and training. Students experience how to live and study in a multinational environment and how to communicate across cultural and national boundaries.
I myself had the benefit of studying at SAIS. To this day, I benefit from an invaluable network of professional contacts and personal friendships around the world. I am extremely grateful for this and for everything that SAIS provides to its international student community.
All over the world, you will find students who have benefitted from their studies at SAIS. They have learned to respect the value of accurate, analytical, and scientific information – which is needed today more than ever – and they know how to put this information to good use.
SAIS Bologna is an ideal place to live and study in both a European and U.S. context. What we can learn from the current challenges around us is that cooperation and multilateralism are what our quest for impartial evidence must be based on. This is a central pre-requisite and absolutely imperative. SAIS stands for all of these laudable values and once again, I commend SAIS on its achievements over so many years.
I am very pleased to mention that a fellow-countryman from Hamburg, Steven Muller, who served as President of Johns Hopkins University for nearly two decades, played a key role in forging a link between SAIS and Germany. Born in 1927 in Hamburg, the son of a Jewish father, he emigrated to the United States in 1939. He decisively shaped Johns Hopkins University and established the American Institutes for Contemporary German Studies. The work of the institute is emblematic of the significance of SAIS and its importance for transatlantic cooperation and ties.
Beyond transatlanticism, SAIS Bologna is vital for German-Italian relations, particularly in the spheres of science and academia. We hope this impressive tradition will continue in the not too distant future and that the lively exchange of students will resume once Italy and Germany and many other countries have successfully tackled the current challenges posed by the coronavirus.
I extend my very best wishes to SAIS Bologna, as well as its academic staff and students, for a successful and bright future as you pursue your ambitious academic endeavors.