NU Hungary AlumniIn Hungary, Father Maher Presents Caritas Medal, Establishes Niagara Alumni Chapter

Father Maher made the establishment of a worldwide presence for Niagara University a top priority when he stepped into the President’s Office in August 2013. Here is an update on this commitment.

As the Berlin Wall was being razed in the early 1990s, Dr. Péter Forgách was watching closely from afar.

The young, Hungarian-born medical doctor had been practicing ophthalmology in Buffalo for years yet remained concerned about his birth country’s capacity to establish an effective democratic government.

In 1994, Dr. Forgách and Balazs Borka, an electrical engineer, co-founded the Calasanctius Training Program. Its intent was to train Hungarian students in the United States so that they would be fitted with the tools to help develop a new democratic society. The only caveat to the private scholarship program was that participating students were required to return to Hungary upon graduation.

The CTP presently has partnerships with eight American universities, including Niagara University. Since the program was formed, 20 of the CTP’s 170 students have graduated from NU.

The Rev. James J. Maher, C.M, Niagara president, recently traveled to Budapest to present Dr. Forgách with the university’s prestigious Caritas Medal in recognition of his formidable leadership and generosity.

“Dr. Forgách is a pioneer in global education, a person who fully values teaching, faith and global solidarity as instruments to improve the world,” remarked Father Maher. “We applaud Dr. Forgách for his incredible efforts to remove the barriers to education, entrepreneurship and community service, and we are proud to join him in his mission.”

Dr. Forgách, who was not expecting the award, was moved to tears upon receiving the honor (and a pair of standing ovations) on Tuesday night in front of his wife, daughter and 14 CTP graduates.

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