Vasile Beluska, 2008 Ellis Island Medal of Honor Recipient

Beluska honored with Ellis Island medal for bridging continents, lives

Vasile Beluska’s first impressions of America were straight out of a John Wayne movie: Levis, cowboy boots, cowboy hats. And that was before he even got off the plane. Then it was big cars with fins on the back and cattle with long horns—a typical day in Amarillo, Texas, his first home in the United States.

For the violinist and political refugee from Romania, life in the U.S. was a whole new world.

Now Beluska, music performance studies, is being honored for helping other musicians from Eastern Europe come to the U.S. and develop their own careers. Both in the U.S. and Europe, countless students and others have benefited from his generosity, service and talents.

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