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The Austrian Marshall Plan Center for European Studies at 20

The Director of Center Austria, Professor Guenter Bischof and Ambassador Waldner walk in a second line through the French Quarter. Photo: Theresa Peischer

The Austrian Marshall Plan Center for European Studies (Center Austria) at the University of New Orleans (UNO) celebrates 20 years in 2017. On the occasion, dignitaries, alumni and friends of the Center gathered in New Orleans on October 11, 2017 for a festive celebration. 

Directed by Professor Günter Bischof, a native of Vorarlberg, the Austrian Marshall Plan Center for European Studies, formerly the Center for Austrian Culture and Commerce, opened its doors in 1997 as a result of the increasing volume of academic exchange between UNO and its Austrian partner, the University of Innsbruck. The breadth of cooperation between the universities also culminated in an official sister city - agreement between New Orleans and Innsbruck.  The center has since been renamed to reflect the contributions of its principal sponsor, the Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation in Vienna.

The birthday celebrations included a typical New Orleans second line through the French Quarter, which led guests to Napoleon House, a New Orleans landmark since 1821, for the official festivities. Austrian Ambassador to the United States Wolfgang Waldner delivered opening remarks to an audience that included representatives from the University of Innsbruck, the Austrian Federal Ministry for Science, Research and Economy, the Austrian Honorary Consul for Louisiana and Mississippi, Philipp D. Lorio III, the President of the Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation, Ambassador Wolfgang Petritsch, as well as the President of The University of New Orleans, John W. Nicklow in addition to many friends and colleagues from both sides of the Atlantic.

Furthermore, surrounding the festivities, the Center and New Orleans also hosted the Annual Meeting of the Centers for Austrian Studies around the world with participants from The University of New Orleans, the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Alberta, Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Andrássy University Budapest, and the University of Vienna. Each year, the conference provides graduate students from the Austrian Centers at these universities with an opportunity to network and present their ongoing research. 

The Embassy wishes a Happy Birthday!

All photos: Theresa Peischer