Statement of Purpose
The Belgian American Educational Foundation, Inc. (B.A.E.F.) is a non-profit organization, incorporated in the United States, funded by the general public and qualified under 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code. The B.A.E.F. fosters the higher education of deserving Belgians and Americans through its exchange fellowship program.
Since its founding in 1920 by President Herbert Hoover, the B.A.E.F. has provided 3,477 Belgians and 942 Americans with the opportunity for a period of advanced study or research in the partner country.
Those who have benefited from the philanthropic endeavors of B.A.E.F. have proceeded to make outstanding contributions to their individual countries. Americans who have had the opportunity to do graduate work in Belgium's prestigious institutions of higher learning, can now be found occupying significant positions in the academic, professional, commercial and industrial fields in the U.S.A., as well as in the arts and the sciences. Likewise, Belgians who have been beneficiaries, have gone on to become Prime Ministers, Ministers of State, distinguished professors and scholars, as well as bankers, lawyers, engineers and businessmen. In addition, those Belgians who chose to remain in the United States after completing their studies, although few in number, occupy important positions in various fields, particularly in the academic world.
The B.A.E.F. Exchange Fellowship Program has been instrumental in instilling in the American and Belgian Fellows a deep respect and appreciation for the other's country and people. As a result a spirit of friendship and cooperation has permeated their dealings with each other in political or academic exchanges, in the arts and in the world of trade and economics. Needless to say, this was one of Herbert Hoover's aims when he established the B.A.E.F. in 1920. It was his belief and hope that the common cause of higher education would continue and strengthen the warm friendship, that existed between Belgium and the United States at that time, as a result of the humanitarian aid provided by the Commission for Relief in Belgium (C.R.B.) during World War I. The C.R.B., the parent organization of the Belgian American Educational Foundation, took on the huge task of sustaining the population of occupied Belgium and a portion of Northern France for the four years of war. Under the dynamic and capable leadership of Herbert Hoover, over two billion dollars worth of necessities of life were distributed to the needy, financed by the governments of the United States, Great Britain, France and Belgium, as well as by massive voluntary donations from all over the civilized world.
The Belgian American Educational Foundation was established with a small portion of the funds remaining in the treasury of the C.R.B. at the end of World War I. The most important part of the leftover monies went to the Belgian Universities and institutions of higher learning that had suffered serious destruction during World War I. Two of these Universities still have endowments, presently known as the Hoover Foundation for the Development of the University of Brussels and the Hoover Foundation for the Development of the University of Leuven-Louvain. Major portions of the remaining funds went also towards establishing a sister foundation in Belgium, called Fondation Universitaire - Universitaire Stichting, and another sister Foundation, the Fondation Francqui - Francqui Fonds.
The expense budget of the academic year 2014-2015 amounts to $ 4,412,250 with income from endowment covering less than half of the expenses. The remainder of the expenses is covered by annual gifts in Belgium and in the United States from Alumni, associated Foundations, private, public and corporate sources. Individuals, organizations or foundations subsscribe to eponymous Graduate or Postdoctoral B.A.E.F. Fellowships, carrying their name.