Friday, 30 September 2016

The Croatian Academy of America - 25th Anniversary (1978) - JCS 20



The Croatian Academy of America celebrated its Twenty-Fifth Anniversary on November 4, 1978 at the Hotel Roosevelt in New York City.

President Ivo Vučičević in his opening addresses greeted all present and expressed his thanks for congratulatory telegrams and letters received for this occasion. He asked the audience to stand up for a moment of silence honoring the memory of all those who contributed to the existence and the success of the Academy, founders, former presidents and members who have passed away.

Vučičević said that the first president, Professor Clement Mihanovich, unfortunately could not come, but wished to let him know that all those assembled here deeply appreciate his pioneering work and all that he did to get us started twenty five years ago. Vučičević then greeted among those present the following founding members, whose names are listed in the Academy's Constitution: Dr. Jere Jareb, Nick Milosevich and Bruno Kolega M.D. He also greeted Antun Nizeteo, writer and poet, whose name is not printed among the signers of the Academy's Constitution, but who played a dominant role in founding our institution. Using his rich and convincing vocabulary he found the proper approach to sell the idea of the Academy to the late Professor Walter Reeve, who embraced it with limitless enthusiasm. The President added that he thinks no one else from those early days is present here except the editor of the Journal, Karlo Mirth. In conclusion Vučičević gave an outline of the program and introduced the speakers.

Retrospect and Prospect

Mrs. Maria Krocker-Tuškan, the Executive Secretary of the Academy in her presentation: "Croatian Academy of America—XXV Anniversary, Retrospect and Prospect," said that a quarter of a century in "the life of an individual or the institution is a respectable milestone: the growing pains of the early development are over, and the individual or the institution becomes a mature, energetic being or entity whose enthusiasm is tempered by experience, who has already a past but whose visions are very much directed toward the future".

She pointed out that the Academy is a unique organization in this hemisphere and to appreciate this uniqueness one has to understand men, times and circumstances which led to its founding. The Croatian immigrants who arrived to the United States after World War II had the decisive role in it: "In contrast to the earlier waves of Croatian immigrants, the post World War II immigrants were almost entirely an educated group. The first group arrived in the early fifties from different European refugee or DP camps and/or from some intermediate stations around the world, in which they had acquired another language and witnessed another culture from which they were excluded by virtue of their temporary residence. Another group came gradually over the years directly from the homeland. Despite these chronological differences in arrival, these immigrants shared a tremendous upheaval of their own lives and all wore fresh scars of the war and post-war tragedy of the Croatian nation. The arrival to the United States meant not only personal opportunity, it also provided them with a chance to actively master their earlier sense of loss and tragedy, by offering possibilities to make this country aware of Croatia, her history, her strengths and her difficult position.

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