2 April 2001


NEW YORK, 30 March (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the 30 March message of Secretary-General Kofi Annan to Yale University on the occasion of the dedication of a United Nations postal cancellation commemorating the 300th anniversary of the University’s founding:

Whether the task is preserving the world’s natural wonders or waging the war on AIDS, stemming the trend towards global warming or sustaining economic growth, the United Nations looks to the academic community for insight and guidance.

Yale University has long been a shining beacon in that community. It is renowned as a place where the greatest minds of successive ages have gathered to trade ideas and train their successors. What is more, with instruction in 52 languages and more than 600 courses related to international affairs, Yale has shown a commitment to global education. This commitment showed itself again, most recently, in the founding of the Center for the Study of Globalization and the establishment of the World Fellows Program.

Yet, these are only the latest accomplishments in Yale’s long-standing effort to ensure that the avenues of intellectual inquiry are accessible to all. One hundred and fifty years ago, Yale was the first institution of higher education in the United States to admit a native of China. Today, it is one of the few American universities to offer full financial aid benefits to international students.

To salute the University in this, its tercentennial year, the United Nations Postal Administration has issued a commemorative cancellation featuring Harkness Tower and the University’s special anniversary logo. Harkness Tower is a natural choice to represent Yale on the cancellation, for just as the Tower is a landmark for the whole New Haven campus, so is the University a beacon for the whole educational world.

To Yale, and to all her sons and daughters, I send my warmest birthday greetings.

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