Deputy Chief of Mission Burger’s Remarks at the Launch of the American College of Greece STEM Lab

Wednesday, March 16, 2022, 6:00 p.m.

As Prepared

Thank you, Alison.  President Horner, esteemed professors, students, and friends, thank you very much for inviting me to be with you this evening.

I would also like to give a warm welcome to Lauren Chitty from the U.S. Agency for International Development, who is joining us remotely from the United States this evening.

I am delighted to join you for the official opening of the new Deree STEM and Pierce Physics Labs.  The U.S. Embassy is proud to support these initiatives and we appreciate the generous funding USAID has provided to make them a reality.

This evening’s event gives us a moment of hope in the midst of the sorrow we all feel for the events unfolding in Ukraine and the loss of innocent lives there.

Putin’s war of choice is challenging the world order as we know it, including European peace and prosperity.  We must all work together to protect the democratic values that unite us and upon which global order and stability are based.

Among the democratic values that the United States and Greece share is a belief in the power of education.  And that’s why the U.S. Government and individual American citizens have been supporting the work of American-affiliated educational institutions in Greece since soon after Greece’s revolution and its creation as an independent state more than 200 years ago.

The American College of Greece is a flagship institution and we are exceptionally proud of its role in deepening the cultural and historic understanding between the United States and Greece.  ACG helps strengthen our shared values and create innovative platforms, like the labs we are inaugurating today, for the exchange of ideas and knowledge between Americans and Greeks.

We welcome the efforts of Prime Minister Mitsotakis and the Greek government, and in particular the extraordinary leadership of Minister Kerameus, to promote the internationalization of Greek higher education which, in turn, has helped bring our countries’ educational institutions closer than ever.

Both the Prime Minister and Minister Kerameus strongly believe in the great potential that educational cooperation between the United States and Greece offers.  And the Embassy is fully committed to working with Greece to further deepen our ties.

I was pleased to learn that, with the opening of these new STEM labs, the American College of Greece will expand opportunities for its students by offering STEM degrees as well.  Younger students at Pierce will benefit from the Physics Lab, taking advantage of the new, advanced facilities.  And we are excited that next September, Pierce will enter the primary education sector with a new kindergarten and elementary school.

I am confident that, by providing access to state-of-the-art educational programs and scientific equipment, you will see an increase student engagement and research opportunities.

I hope we will also see collaborations emerge with private companies, academia, and professionals, fostering job creation and increased economic opportunities for students and graduates.

I would like to commend you, President Horner, for your vision, leadership, and efforts to strengthen the educational ties between the United States and Greece.

The timing could not be better as Greece is going through a rapid digital transformation thanks to the Greek government’s reforms.

Our countries are united by a thirst for innovation.  Supporting initiatives like the labs we are inaugurating today, putting our STEM knowledge and potential to use, helps drive that shared spirit of ingenuity and collaboration upon which our collective prosperity will be based.

As you do with all of the remarkable resources on this campus, I’m certain the students here will make the most out of these amazing new facilities.  It’s our sincere hope that it will be utilized by your students to help them reach their potential and become our future entrepreneurs, innovators, and leaders.

Thank you.