New Academic Building to Be Named Balkanski Academic CenterMay 12, 2010
The American University in Bulgaria received a generous donation from celebrated physicist Professor Minko Balkanski. AUBGs New Academic Building will bear the scientists family name in recognition of the distinguished familys support. The dedication ceremony for the Balkanski Academic Center will take place at 3 pm on May 15, 2010 on the Skaptopara campus.
In AUBG, Professor Balkanski found a worthy partner whose values reflect his personal commitment. The Universitys mission is to educate students of outstanding potential in a community of academic excellence, diversity, and respect and to prepare them for democratic and ethical leadership in serving the needs of the region and the world. Professor Balkanskis faith and support will help the University continue to be a leader in offering high-quality liberal arts education in Southeastern Europe. Furthermore, philanthropists contributions like Professor Balkanskis represent sustaining gifts that enable AUBG to grow and become a model of academic excellence in the 21st century.
Professor Balkanskis gift endorses yet again AUBGs reputation for academic excellence. Thanks to supporters like him, we can offer one of a kind academic and residential experience to our students. Home to 1,100 students from 37 countries, the Universitys residential campus is an integral part of the AUBG education, which aims at nurturing socially responsible leaders capable of cross-cultural communication, said AUBG President David Huwiler.
Professor Balkanskis biography includes many impressive accomplishments. Born in 1927 in Oryahovitsa, Bulgaria, he emigrated to France in 1945. At 28, he became a professor of physics at the Sorbonne and the worlds youngest professor at the time. Throughout his life, Professor Balkanski has been actively involved with research and academic activities. For his contributions to science, Professor Balkanski received Frances highest distinction, Chevalier of the Legion of Honor of France, as well as Chevalier of the National Order of Merit of France.
He is also the recipient of Polands Commander Cross with Star of the Order of Merit, the prestigious Von Hippel prize, Bulgarias highest distinction, the Order of Merit Stara Planina, and Indias highest honor for service to the country by Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Currently, Professor Balkanski is a professor emeritus at the Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris and a visiting professor at the University of California.
Since 1993 Professor Balkanski has focused most of his efforts on educational projects in Bulgaria. He is the founder of the Minu Balkanski Foundation, which is dedicated to his father. The organization works for the betterment of Bulgarian education and helps talented young Bulgarians develop and receive quality education at prestigious universities. Professor Balkanskis entire range of activities centers on the goal of cultivating an elite of educated young Bulgarians who will spearhead Bulgarias transformation.
Story by Albena Kehayova & Sylvia Zareva