LEWISTON — Bill Hiss, who retired from Bates as dean of admissions and financial aid, he traveled to Vietnam last March to help create the first liberal arts college in the country at the new Fulbright University. Hiss will share his experience during a Food For Thought luncheon Friday, Sept. 14, at the USM-LAC Senior College.

Hiss and his wife, Colleen, first met Ngan Dinh, Bates College, Class of 2002, when she was in high school. Ngan was the first student from Vietnam to study at Bates. She then earned her master’s degree at the University of Chicago and her doctorate at Cambridge University. Returning to Vietnam, she was a professor in a graduate Fulbright program in public policy. Now she is the founding Dean of the Undergraduate College in the new university. Dinh asked Hiss to give the presentation.

The Vietnamese government set aside 70 acres of land and with further support including funds from the United States, Fulbright University will open this fall with 50 students, gradually expanding to 2000. There are now more than 25 Vietnamese students who have studied at Bates. Seed money from Bates helped establish VietAbroader, a program to disseminate information to high schools in Vietnam about international education. It now has 30,000 members.

Doors will open at 11:30 a.m., program begins at noon. Food for Thought luncheons take place in room 170 at USM’s Lewiston-Auburn campus, 50 Westminster St. The public is invited to attend. For those who wish to have lunch, the cost is $8 and an advanced reservation is required. Food may also be purchased at the campus cafe.

To reserve call 207-753-6510 before noon on the Wednesday before the luncheon. 

Bill Hiss discusses plans for Fulbright University Vietnam.

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