Ambassador João Vale de Almeida of the European Union visits Uni
Published: Wednesday, April 4, 2012 - 3:48pm
On March 30 the European Union's Ambassador to the United States, João Vale de Almeida, visited Uni and spoke to classes during third and fourth period.
The ambassador was in Champaign to visit the European Union Center at the University of Illinois.
According to Assistant Director of Student Life Craig Russell, who coordinated the ambassador's visit to Uni, Russell received a phone call from the ambassador's office a few weeks before spring break saying that the ambassador was interested in secondary education and wanted to visit a high school while in town.
Vale de Almeida spoke to two groups of Uni seniors with a visit to the senior history class World Since 1945 and a brief stop in the U.S. History Seminar class.
"We had some students stop and ask him a question in the middle of the street out there, which was great," Russell said. "And he realized, "'Hey, let's not do it in the middle of the street.' So he was the one with common sense; the Uni students and teachers weren't quite so... He was really with it in that regard."
"One of the things that really impressed me about his visit was - I think it was the group in the kitchen - somebody asked him a question [...] about different countries joining the EU," Russell continued. "And he said 'Well, we have criteria for joining the EU just like Uni has criteria for admission. And I'd never said anything to him about selective admissions. [...] That's why he is a diplomat; he knows these things."