January 19, 2006
Asian Visit In May Includes Community Service, Men’s Soccer Team
St. John’s University signed a historic Memorandum of
Understanding (MOU) with the Vietnamese Committee of Sport and
Physical Culture in Hanoi to begin the New Year as both countries
continue to foster relationships and programming both athletically
and academically. Fr. James J. Maher, C.M., Vice President of
Student Affairs and Dr. Hung P.
Le, Assistant Dean of Graduate School of Arts and
Sciences representing St. John’s made the historic announcement
at a press conference earlier this month.
The agreement will include a tour by the nationally ranked
St. John’s Men’s Soccer Team to play a series of exhibition
games in late May and early June of this year against top flight
professional squads from the Vietnamese Football Federation (VFF).
It will be the first time an American soccer team has officially
been invited to play on Vietnamese soil. Sites for the contests
will include stops in Hanoi, Hai Phong and Ho Chi Minh City.
“The reception we received from the Vietnamese Government,
the Committee of Sport and Physical Culture and the press was
remarkable. These upcoming soccer matches are signs of the deep
friendship St. John’s enjoys with the people and nation of
Vietnam,” Maher said. “It is our belief that the vehicles of sport,
education and culture can build relationships of international
understanding, peace and friendship throughout the world.”
In addition, the team along with their coaching staff and
administrators will visit the Vincentian Community in Da Lat,
include a stop at the Daughters of Charity organization in Vietnam
and observe factory worker conditions as part of St. John’s
relationship with NIKE Inc.
“This will be a cultural as well as educational experience for
our team and we are honored to have the opportunity to serve as
ambassadors of the sport of soccer as well as represent the United
States,” St. John’s men’s soccer coach
Dr. David Masur said.
The Vietnamese Committee and Physical Culture will also work
with St. John’s University in organizing coaching clinics and
training seminars to be held in the United States for a select
group of Vietnamese coaches for future consideration.
“With the friendly sports competition, the American people will
understand more about the Vietnamese people,” Vietnam Football
Federation vice chairman Vu Quang Vinh said while addressing the
media at the press conference.
Dr. Le, who has been very active in the process from the start,
signed a second Memorandum of Agreement with the Foreign Trade
University (FTU) during the recent Vietnam visit. The Peter J. Tobin College of Business at St.
John’s will host an inaugural “One-Week Institute for International
Managers and Executives” to be held in the summer of 2006. This
would be an annual program that would bring between 10-15 business
managers to Manhattan for advanced training. FTU representatives
are also exploring possibilities of an academic articulation that
would allow transfer students into St. John’s B.S., M.S. or M.B.A.
“It’s a special relationship for me having been born in Vietnam
and raised in the U.S.,” Professor Le added. “To have the ability
to connect the two cultures through sports and academic programming
is part of our Vincentian Mission as a university. This exchange
further enhances our relationship at many different levels and
we’re excited about the possibilities that are ahead for both
countries in the future.”
The university began its partnership with the Ministry of
Education and Training (MOET) in Vietnam in 2002. MOET designates
their best and brightest scholars to be formally educated
throughout the world, and St. John’s was rated their first choice
among American universities.
For more information contact Dominic Scianna, Director of Media
Relations, St. John’s University at (718) 990-6185 or e-mail
inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.