Welcome, everyone. On behalf of the entire Harvard community I extend an especially warm greeting to Presidenta Dilma Rousseff and our very distinguished guests from Brazil.
Thank you all for joining us this afternoon to witness the signing of an agreement that promises to strengthen the longstanding and mutually beneficial relationship between Harvard and Brazil.
A little more than a year ago I visited São Paulo and had the great pleasure of speaking at a symposium hosted by Fundação Estudar. In my remarks, I expressed Harvard’s great interest in continuing to stimulate the flow of Brazilian students, scholars, and researchers to our classrooms and laboratories here in Cambridge.
Today, we formalize and celebrate new agreements that will do just that. I met many thoughtful and talented young men and women at the University of São Paulo, students who have benefited from Harvard courses and programs already offered in Brazil. The Science without Borders agreement creates opportunities for students like them, students from across the country, to study engineering, mathematics, and science, and to undertake research here on campus.
We look forward, as well, to identifying candidates for the Chair for a Distinguished Visiting Professor and to welcoming more Brazilian scholars and researchers to the University.
Our educational and research collaborations will flourish in the years to come thanks to the vision of many people, here and elsewhere, who have worked so diligently to bring Harvard to the world and the world to Harvard.
I thank President Rousseff and her Ministers for joining us today and for their continued commitment to growth through equity and opportunity, to sustained progress through education. Thanks, too, to the presidents of CAPES and CNPq for the leadership and the direction that they have provided.
I also thank the Lemann family, the Lemann Foundation, and especially Jorge Paulo Lemann, a great champion of education in both Brazil and in the United States, and especially here at Harvard, for being exceptionally generous and eminently forward-thinking.
And, of course, I thank my colleagues here at Harvard – in the Office of the Provost, across our Schools, on the faculty, and especially Jorge Domínguez, the Vice Provost, who worked so closely over the last few months to make these agreements possible.
We are witnessing a moment of enormous possibility for higher education, a moment that demands of all of us creativity and flexibility. Knowledge and talent know no national boundaries, and the most pressing challenges that humanity faces must be considered in the broadest possible context, a context that is interdisciplinary, and a context that is international.
Thank you all for working in that context and for embracing opportunities to strengthen education here at Harvard and in Brazil, and for strengthening the relationship between us.
Now, please join me in welcoming President Dilma Rousseff.