Revitalizing Provo’s Sister-City Bond with Meissen, Germany
I have some heartwarming news to share with all of you. We've rekindled our sister-city relationship with Meissen, Germany, a connection that's deeply rooted in our shared history with Karl G. Maeser, the founding principal of Brigham Young Academy.
This partnership began in the late '90s under Mayor Lewis Billings and has blossomed into a beautiful example of what cities can achieve together. The highlight of our relationship has undoubtedly been the student exchanges—hundreds of young minds from Provo and Meissen have experienced life in each other's homes, a program founded by Dr. Stephen Van Orden that truly opened a window into our respective cultures.
However, the pandemic put a pause on these valuable exchanges. Recognizing the importance of this program, I accepted an invitation to Meissen’s city festival last year, which helped revive this cultural and educational exchange.
We were honored to recently host a delegation from Meissen, including Mayor Olaf Raschke. Highlights of the visit included a tour of City Hall, being publicly recognized during a Tabernacle Choir concert during their Temple Square visit, and a tour of Brigham Young University campus. In addition, the delegation was introduced to two of Provo’s economic successes with a tour of Vanderhall, Utah’s only auto manufacturer and an introduction to our robust startup culture with a visit to Kiln.
Our guests from Germany were particularly impressed with Provo's landscape and the warmth of our community. These exchanges allow us to unite over common ground and appreciate our differences, enriching our city's social and cultural fabric.
I am thrilled to see our sister-city relationship flourish once more, creating lasting impacts on our communities and future generations. As I've always believed, Provo is not just a spectator in the global narrative of human connections—we're active participants, learning and growing through our friendships across borders.
Let's continue to embrace these connections that make our community a vibrant part of the larger world.