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(Bethlehem, Pennsylvania) - Moravian College will play host to the ambassador of the Czech Republic, Martin Palouš, on Monday, February 11, as he tours Bethlehem and the Moravian campuses, visits a classroom , and meets with College president, Ervin J. Rokke.
Moravian College's link with the Czech Republic dates back through its history to the strong educational roots nourished by the vision of Czechoslovakian educator, Bishop John Amos Comenius, considered the father of modern education.
In 1990, Radim Palouš, father of Martin and then the rector of Charles University in Czechoslovakia, attended the rededication of the Comenius statue in front of Moravian's Comenius Hall on Main Street.
Palouš was appointed ambassador of the Czech Republic to the United States by Czech president Vaclav Havel in the summer of 2001. Palouš received a RNDr. degree (Doctor of Natural Sciences) in chemistry from Charles University, Prague in 1973. He studied philosophy and social sciences (graduating in 1977). He has also studied law (1996-1999).
Palouš was one of the first signatories of Charter 77 and served as spokesman for this dissident human rights group in 1986. A founding member of the Civic Forum, he was elected to the Federal Assembly in 1990 and became a member of its Foreign Affairs Committee. He joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Czechoslovakia as adviser to Minister Dienstbier and was deputy minister of foreign affairs from October 1990 to October 1992.
Palouš has held a number of teaching positions at Charles University since 1990. He became a member of the Faculty of Social Sciences (Foreign Relations Division) in 1994 and served for some time as the faculty's vice-dean. In 1993, he joined the Centre for Theoretical Studies, a research center run jointly by Charles University and the Czech Academy of Sciences. He has lectured extensively in the United States. Until 1998, Palouš was also active in various non-governmental organizations including serving as chairman of the Czech Helsinki Committee and co-chairman of the Helsinki Citizens Assembly. In October 1998, he became deputy minister of foreign affairs of the Czech Republic.
Moravian College is a private, coeducational, selective liberal arts college located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Tracing its founding to 1742, it is recognized as America's sixth-oldest college. Visit the web site at www.moravian.edu.