Ball inaugurated as Honorary Consul of Hungary

Christopher Ball (left), director of the Central European Institute and István Széchenyi Chair in International Economics, shakes hands with György Szapáry, Hungarian ambassador to the United States. Ball was inaugurated as Honorary Consul of Hungary for the state of Connecticut.

Sept. 19, 2013 - Christopher Ball, director of the Central European Institute and István Széchenyi Chair in International Economics, has been inaugurated as Honorary Consul of Hungary for the state of Connecticut.

Ball's selection is in recognition of his two-decade association with Hungary. 

"To the extent that it furthers peaceful cooperation in academia, business, culture and diplomacy and supports the cooperation of individuals in both the United States and Hungary, I am extremely proud and respectively accept with enthusiasm the appointment of honorary consul to the state of Connecticut," Ball said. "I look forward to the opportunities that will come with it."

The inauguration ceremony was attended by several Quinnipiac senior administrators, including Mark Thompson, executive vice president and provost, as well as dignitaries such as György Szapáry, Hungarian ambassador to the United States, Karoly Dan, consulate general of Hungary, and Szabolcs Takács, Hungary's deputy state secretary for global affairs.

"The timing could not be better," Takács said. Ball's inauguration became official just two days after the announcement of yet another exciting initiative between Quinnipiac and Hungary. 

During its Sept. 17 board meeting, the Hungarian-American Fulbright Commission signed a new cooperative agreement with Quinnipiac.  Starting in 2015-16, the Fulbright Commission will jointly fund opportunities for American scholars at Central European University, the Aquincum Institute of Technology and the Hungarian Institute of International Affairs.  In addition, Fulbright and Quinnipiac will share in the cost of sending one Hungarian student to Quinnipiac's business school to earn an MBA degree.

The Fulbright Business Studies Grant at Quinnipiac University will provide a Hungarian student free tuition, a significant stipend, discounted university-owned housing, travel and insurance during an 18-month MBA program that includes an internship requirement.  The student will join several other Hungarian counterparts who will be supported by Quinnipiac's other funds.

The inauguration ceremony took place in the School of Law's Grand Courtroom. A reception followed in the Mancheski Executive Seminar Room in the Lender School of Business Center on the Mount Carmel Campus.

Ball received a message of congratulations from the Hungarian Human Rights Foundation, a declaration from Szapary, a greeting note from Hungarian Foreign Minister János Martonyi and flowers from his daughter Julianna.

 As honorary consul, Ball will be responsible for supporting Hungarians in the United States as well as the Hungarian community in Connecticut, facilitating political and business collaboration between Hungary and the United States and introducing Hungarian culture and history to Americans.

The aim of the Central European Institute is to build bridges between the United States and the nations of Central Europe by fostering relationships in academics, business and culture. 

"The honorary consul's main task is to further linkages between the U.S.," Ball said prior to the inauguration.  "This fits perfectly into the CEI's mission. Being officially recognized as an honorary consul by the U.S. State Department really helps put the CEI and Quinnipiac in general on the diplomatic map in the United States and worldwide which is where, I believe, we should be."

 The Fulbright Business Studies Grant at Quinnipiac will only enhance that endeavor.

Ball started as an assistant professor in economics at Quinnipiac in 2003. He earned his bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Alabama in Huntsville and his doctorate in macroeconomics and industrial organization from Texas A & M University.

Ball moved to Budapest in 1994 and worked in foreign policy as a project consultant and later as director for the Hungarian Atlantic Council. He focused on arranging conferences and seminars and acting as an information source in Hungary on NATO and other integration-related issues.

Ball, who also lectured at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, met his wife Emese in Hungary. They have two children, Julianna and Matthew.

View a slideshow from the event