Over 100 gathered at the ASEF Gala at Stanford University this past weekend. Scholars, researchers, educators, artists and other guests from all over the globe, from Argentina to Hong Kong, came to celebrate their shared origin, create new connections, and recognize the lifetime achievement of Nobel Prize Laureate Prof. Duncan Haldane.
Prof. Haldane was honored to receive the ASEF Lifetime Achievement Award and he emphasized how proud he is of his Slovenian origin---despite growing up in England he always identified as half-Slovenian and half-Scot. The evening featured welcome addresses by President of Slovenia Borut Pahor as well as the Minister for Slovenians abroad Gorazd Žmavc, who emphasized the importance of creating connections and exchange between Slovenians all over the world.
The guests were entertained by outstanding musical performances by cellist Klara Krklec and sopranists Iris Bečaj and Irena Preda, who are Kerže Family fellows at the Thornton School of Music, University of Southern California.
The event represented the strong ties among the Slovenian community and showcased the unique and almost unimaginable capabilities of this small nation. At the event, ASEF leaders presented the vision for the future of the foundation, which plans to expand its fellowship program to over 30 fellowships in 2018. The ASEF fellows shared their experiences and expressed their gratitude to their mentors.
Overall, the 5th annual ASEF gala was a great success which fueled everyone with a new confidence and enthusiasm to promote collaboration and exchange between Slovenia and Americas.