From Bratislava to Budapest, New Orleans to Nashville, and Latvia to Los Angeles, over 700 TFAS alumni gathered for more than 30 “Celebrating 50 Years of TFAS” birthday party events in all corners of the world during our 50th Anniversary year.
In 2017, The Fund for American Studies (TFAS) celebrated its golden anniversary thanks to the support of countless alumni, friends and volunteers who have been a part of the TFAS Journey over the past 50 years. To ensure everyone in the TFAS family could participate in the festivities, the TFAS Alumni Programs team helped organize, plan and host gatherings around the world.
Led by local TFAS alumni and friends, the celebrations included picnics, receptions, dinners, brunches, volunteering in local communities and much more.
The half-century festivities began with a kick-off party at TFAS headquarters in Washington, D.C., where nearly 150 alumni and supporters gathered to jump-start the year of celebrations by wishing TFAS a happy 50th year.
Another momentous event was a picnic hosted by TFAS alumni in London, appropriately held at the “Speakers’ Corner” – a public space devoted to free speech – in Hyde Park near the U.S. Embassy.
It was great to catch up with old TFAS friends and meet the new ones at the U.S. Independence Day Picnic in London! Even after its programs, TFAS brings people together. Thank you very much, TFAS, for helping us to keep in touch!” – Andriy Maksymovych (AIPES 07)
In the center of all the party planning was TFAS Coordinator of Alumni Programs and Continuing Education Brenda Hafera, who assembled “TFAS 50th Birthday Party Boxes” and helped connect alumni in the U.S. and across the globe.
“The response has been truly enthusiastic, with alumni from all over the world reaching out to donate their time in support of these events,” said Hafera. “The fact that our alumni network is so engaged and active is a testament to the lasting impact of TFAS programs. It demonstrates that the relationship with TFAS is a lifelong one.”
As the first international party of the year, the Athens “Celebrating 50 Years of TFAS” reception welcomed nearly 40 guests and coincided with our fourth annual “Liberty from Locke to Hayek” seminar, a co-sponsored program of The Fund for American Studies and Liberty Fund, Inc. Three-time TFAS alumna Yota Kaltsa (IIPES 05, EJI 06, CSF 06) attended the Athens celebration and recalled the importance of TFAS connections.
“Tonight reminds me of how my first TFAS experience, 12 years ago, changed my world outlook and shaped my path in becoming an international affairs professional,” Kaltsa said. “I am grateful to be part of the TFAS family, which thankfully continues to grow!”
The celebrations continued throughout every month in 2017, including five events in the month of June. To begin closing out the year of “Celebrating 50 Years of TFAS” gatherings, alumni in Guatemala City held a reception as the TFAS Latin American contingent. Maria Wer (IEIA 14), who participated in the 2014 TFAS U.S. Programs in Washington, D.C., said she loved having the opportunity to share TFAS experiences with old and new friends and was amazed to see the leadership and world-changing potential from her alumni peers.
It’s amazing how it changed all our lives for the better and allowed us to be better people and citizens. I’m certain each one of them is and will continue to work to make Guatemala a freer country. The feat TFAS accomplishes with every program is awing, bringing young students from all over the world together to explore the ideas of liberty, become better professionals and connect with one another makes me proud to be a TFAS Alumnus.” – Maria Wer (IEIA 14)
Nearly 20 TFAS alumni in Beirut, Lebanon attended the final “Celebrating 50 Years of TFAS” celebration of 2017 on Dec. 27. To view more highlights from our year in 50th celebrations, view the #TFAS50 hashtag on Instagram and view the photo gallery below. To learn how you can get involved with TFAS alumni in your area, please visit TFAS.org/Alumni.