On Sept. 4, 1976 Cardinal Karol Wojtyła visited the Kosciuszko Foundation and told its members that the work of the Foundation is "particularly important at this time. We realize that culture creates a national identity, and in the end creates the nation itself."
Cardinal Wojtyla, who two years later became Pope John Paul II, praised the work of "The Kosciuszko Foundation, which attempts to diligently serve the interests of the Polish people. We must be grateful to everyone who has contributed to these efforts, and to those who are continuing to work towards these goals. This work is one of the greatest components of our national identity."
This was true in 1976, and it's just as true today. The work of the Foundation preserves Polish culture and works to educate the next generation of Polish and Polish-American leaders. Founded in 1925, the Kosciuszko Foundation promotes closer ties between Poland and the United States through educational, scientific and cultural exchanges. It awards up to $1 million annually in fellowships and grants to graduate students, scholars, scientists, professionals and artists, and promotes Polish culture in America. The Foundation has awarded scholarships and provided a forum to Poles who have changed history.