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Harvard president talks American Civil War with Ho Chi Minh City students

Thursday, March 23, 2017, 13:43 GMT+7

Prof. Drew Gilpin Faust, President of Harvard University, gave a public lecture Thursday morning to students at the Ho Chi Minh City University of Social Sciences and Humanities (USSH) as part of her four-day visit to Vietnam.

In addition to her talk, Prof. Faust also met with Assoc. Prof. Dr. Huynh Thanh Dat, president of the Vietnam National University – Ho Chi Minh City (VNU-HCMC), and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Vo Van Sen, rector of USSH, a VNU-HCMC member university.

The Harvard president’s visit was part of her four-day working agenda in Vietnam, March 20-23, to develop stronger ties and cooperative opportunities with Vietnamese universities.

USSH is southern Vietnam’s leading research university in the fields of social sciences and humanities, offering undergraduate and graduate programs to over 20,000 Vietnamese and foreign students.

Following her brief meeting with the university’s leaders, Prof. Faust gave a 45-minute public lecture on the American Civil War to a packed auditorium of undergraduate students.

The professor concluded her morning by meeting with local media and granting an exclusive interview with Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.

Hiệu trưởng ĐH Harvard nói chuyện với sinh viên Sài Gòn

Students of the University of Social Sciences and Humanities attends the public lecture of Prof. Drew Gilpin Faust, March 23, 2017. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Hiệu trưởng ĐH Harvard nói chuyện với sinh viên Sài Gòn

Prof. Drew Gilpin Faust (6th right), President of Harvard University, takes a group photo with professors from the University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Ho Chi Minh City, March 23, 2017. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Drew Gilpin Faust is the 28th president of Harvard University and the Lincoln Professor of History in Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

As president of Harvard, Faust has focused on an expansion of financial aid in order to improve access for students from all economic backgrounds, advocated for increased federal funding for scientific research, and broadened the university’s international reach.

Raised in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, Faust went on to attend Concord Academy in Massachusetts, where she earned her bachelor's degree from Bryn Mawr College in 1968, magna cum laude with honors in history. 

She then went on to earn a master's degree (1971) and doctoral degree (1975) in American civilization from the University of Pennsylvania.

A published American Civil War historian, Faust’s book ‘This Republic of Suffering’ was the basis for a 2012 Emmy-nominated episode of the PBS American Experience documentaries titled "Death and the Civil War."

Her honors include awards in 1982 and 1996 for distinguished teaching at the University of Pennsylvania.

She was elected to the Society of American Historians in 1993, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1994, and the American Philosophical Society in 2004.

Read her full speech here:

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