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Nathan Lecture Focuses on Romania

A performance of traditional Romanian music and dance followed a presentation by George Cristian Maior, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Romania to the United States, at the fifth annual Jay Nathan, Ph.D., Visiting Scholar Lecture Series held on campus in April. From left are: Dr. Nathan; Lulia Huiu, cultural attaché; Ambassador Maior; Eugeniu Grigorescu, director of the University’s Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence; and Dr. Remus Stefureac, who also spoke at the lecture.
May 14, 2018
By: Eric Eiden ’19, student correspondent

A Romanian diplomat discussed the views Romanian people have of the United States and the impact Brexit will have on the European Union at the University’s fifth annual Jay Nathan, Ph.D., Visiting Scholar Lecture Series, which was held on campus in April. The lecture by George Cristian Maior, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Romania to the United States, was part of the presentation entitled “The Rise of Romania: History. Culture. Economy.”

After the second world war Romania was under occupation by the Soviet Union and was under a communist regime. In 1989, the Romanian Revolution released Romania from a communist government.

“Even under communist rule over the Romanian population, there was an inspiration and admiration for the American way of life, for the idea of freedom even though we were under a dictatorship,” Ambassador Maior said.

Romania was the first communist country to host a visit by a president of the United States.

“He was surprised to be so well received in a communist country,” Ambassador Maior said about President Nixon’s visit. “He even said to Henry Kissinger, who joined him in the visit, ‘I’m better received in a communist country than in my own country.’”

Currently, Ambassador Maior said that most Romanians view the United States as an important ally.

“Constantly, 70 to 80 percent of Romanians consider the United States their best ally and their best friend,” Ambassador Maior said. “This says a lot about the fact that practically we are the most pro-American country – I would say, in central and eastern Europe, perhaps even all of Europe.”

When the conversation moved onto Brexit, Ambassador Maior expressed his concern.

“It is a negative development for the European Union and Europe,” Ambassador Maior said. “We are very disappointed with Brexit, but the reality of the realm is there was a referendum and the vote was as such.”

Brexit is a merging of the two words “Britain” and “exit,” symbolizing the United Kingdom’s vote in June of 2016 to leave the European Union.

“It will impact in a negative manner the economy of Europe and its strategic relevance because we are losing a country with very strategic knowledge and vision about the world,” Ambassador Maior said. “We still hope we will reach an agreement that is satisfactory to both Europe and Britain, because both parts will lose in my opinion. We’ll see what the future brings.”

At the conclusion of the lecture, performers from Philadelphia presented traditional dance and music from Romania. A reception immediately followed the performance.

The Jay Nathan, Ph.D., Visiting Scholar Lecture Series invites international scholars from emerging democracies and countries in political and economic transition to visit the University to address issues that will enlighten and benefit students, faculty and the community at large. While visiting the campus, scholars deliver presentations on topics of interest to the academic community and meet informally with attendees, students and faculty.

The event, which was presented free of charge to the public, was made possible through the generosity of Dr. Nathan, a former professor in Scranton’s Kania School of Management who is now a tenured professor of management at St. John’s University in Queens, New York.

Eric Eiden ’19, Throop, is a journalism/electronic media major at The University of Scranton.
Eric Eiden ’19, Throop, is a journalism/electronic media major at The University of Scranton.
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