In mournful tones, we announce the passing of Miroslav Michael Djordjevich, a great Serbian-American whose legacy shall live on. This champion of the Serbian cause established the Serbian Unity Congress in 1990 and ascended to its presidency, leaving an indelible mark on the Serbian-American community.
In 1990, Djordjevich founded the Serbian Unity Congress and became its President, an organization that would soon become the most crucial Serbian-American institution in the United States. His vision was to help build a democratic system and a stable economy for Serbia during the tumultuous 1990s.
I was fortunate enough to meet Djordjevich years ago, shortly after completing my graduate studies. Our conversations about the Serbian Unity Congress and its mission only served to strengthen our friendship and our commitment to the Serbian cause. Djordjevich worked tirelessly for decades to create a bridge between the Serbian diaspora and their homeland, knowing full well that without it, neither effort would succeed.
Djordjevich’s tireless work and contributions to both the United States and his homeland have been recognized with a multitude of awards, including the Americanism Medal from the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, the Merit Award from the Serbian American Bar Association (2012), and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Tesla Science Foundation (2014). He was also awarded the Medal of Yugoslav Flag of the Second Degree by the President of Yugoslavia (2003) and the Medal of Nemanja of the Second Degree for “nurturing and expanding ties between the Serbian Diaspora and the Homeland and for selfless aid and humanitarian contributions to his people” (2005).
After immigrating to the United States in 1956, Djordjevich earned his Bachelor’s degree in Finance from Berkeley University in California. He then founded the USF & G Financial Security and its successor, the Capital Guaranty Company, in partnership with other firms. In 1993, he established the Studenica Foundation, which aimed to support students in the homeland. Djordjevich was also a prolific author, publishing several books, including A Decade of Illusions 1990 – 2000 (2016) and Correspondence 1991 – 1999 (2012).
Djordjevich’s legacy will undoubtedly continue to inspire Serbian-Americans to build bridges between the Serbian Diaspora and the homeland. In his book Correspondence 1991 – 1999, he aptly wrote: “We need Peace, Order, and Hope. Peace within us, around us, and with others; Order in our thinking, work, and relationships; and Hope based on our rationally assessed strengths, abilities, weaknesses, and opportunities.”
THE BALKAN VOICE
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