On December 4th, 2018, at a special ceremony in the Embassy of Bulgaria Mr. Jay Burgess (Class of 1971) received the Order of Madara Horseman – First Degree for his valuable contribution to developing the trade and economic cooperation between Bulgaria and the United States. The medal was presented by Bulgarian Ambassador Tihomir Stoytchev, and is one of Bulgaria's very highest awards bestowed on foreign citizens.
Burgess retired from his 43 year career in the U.S. government in 2016. He was the longtime Director for European Affairs, and sometimes Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Europe, at the Department of Commerce.
Burgess credits Professor Peter Maggs with setting him on his ultimate career path. After taking Maggs's Soviet Law course during his 2L year and showing a strong interest in this area of international law, Maggs encouraged him to apply for the Fulbright Fellowship Program. With the support and guidance of Maggs, Burgess did exactly that, and spent his 1969-70 academic year as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Bucharest Faculty of Law studying international law in then communist Romania.
"This Bulgarian recognition, as well as the several medals that I received previously from other Central and East European countries during my long career, would not have been possible without Professor Peter Maggs as my guide and my mentor. I owe him a great deal, and it was very gratifying to acknowledge him at the Bulgarian Embassy ceremony," said Burgess.