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Celebrating The Fulbright Program’s 70th Anniversary
Dear Alumni, Friends of Fulbright, Donors, Institutions, and Partners:
A warm hello to all of you and thank you for your work on behalf of the Fulbright Program. I’ve enjoyed joining with many of you this year in advocacy on the Hill, Service Corps trips, small planning meetings, and special programs like the World Bank event and the gatherings at the University of Nevada in Reno and at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. I’m writing today with two announcements.
First, on behalf of the Fulbright Association Board and staff I’m pleased to recognize the 70th anniversary of the Fulbright Program today. As many of you know, on August 1, 1946, President Harry Truman signed Senator J. William Fulbright’s legislation into law, creating this remarkable international exchange program, dedicated to mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries. In the 70 years since, the numbers tell an amazing story about the effect of this legislation: More than 370,000 Fulbright recipients from 165 countries; 54 Nobel Laureates; 33 heads of state.
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If you haven’t heard about it, I want you to know that the U.S. Senate passed a resolution last week, introduced by Senator John Boozman (R-AR), to recognize this anniversary. “I’m pleased the Senate is commemorating this lasting legacy of Senator Fulbright that connects our world,” Senator Boozman said. “This diplomatic tool is important to building cross-cultural relationships and promoting peace. I’m proud to recognize the contributions of the Fulbright Program and the opportunities it will create in the future.”
We’ll continue to celebrate this anniversary at our annual conference, November 10-12 in Washington, DC. It will be built around the theme of the 70th anniversary of the Fulbright Program and the legacy created by Senator Fulbright, a true citizen of the world.
Second, I want to let you know about our transition in leadership. Our Executive Director, Jennifer Oxley, has accepted an offer to head the Washington, DC, affiliate of Playworks, a nonprofit that empowers and serves underprivileged children. We wish Jennifer all the best in her new role and thank her for her leadership in the last two years.
Fortunately, Mary Ellen Schmider has graciously agreed to serve as ED while we conduct a search for Jennifer’s successor. Many of you have met Mary Ellen, who served as interim ED during a previous search. As an officer of the Fulbright Association Board, she championed the first two Service Corps projects in Albania and Serbia and has played a leadership role in shaping our annual conferences. Her experience and the relationships she has developed across the Fulbright community give us the advantage of a smooth transition.
In the last two years our 50 active chapters across the United States have been growing –sponsoring remarkable programs, advocating for the Fulbright Program, and sharing innovative ways to identify and connect with alumni in their areas. Our travel program, mentioned earlier, currently includes tours to Cuba, Peru, and India and service trips to Central America, Vietnam and the Balkans. Finally, our Pathways Program, supported by several institutional members, pursues projects in such areas as international education (with a concert benefit this fall in New York) and peace (with a documentary on Abraham’s Path to premiere at the November 10-12 conference in DC).
As members of the Fulbright community and supporters of the ideals of Fulbright, we invite you to recommend candidates to succeed Jennifer as Executive Director. This is a great opportunity for the right leader because it comes at a time of growing strength and energy at the Fulbright Association.
The job description and details can be found at http://fulbright.org/careers/. Please submit or ask interested candidates to send their application packet to include a cover letter and CV to EDSearch@Fulbright.org. Should you have questions, please contact Manfred Philipp, a member of the Board and search committee, firstname.lastname@example.org .
With highest regards,
Nancy Neill, President
Thank You for Your Support
Our Fulbright experiences changed our lives. It is up to us to ensure future generations experience it for years to come. As we celebrate 70 years of Fulbright, 2016 will be a key year to increase visibility and embark on an alumni-wide advocacy campaign to engage alumni and educate decision makers who determine our future.
With your help, we can accomplish even more to secure the program’s future, including:
• Increase visibility of the Fulbright effect among legislators, media & the public
• Broaden our mission-driven programs, helping more people & communities
• Expand events & enrichment for alumni, visiting Fulbrighters & future generations – and more
You know the difference the Fulbright effect makes in people’s lives worldwide and the importance of securing the Program. Today, the need for cultural understanding is vast. And the Fulbright voice is vital during these uncertain times of global conflict and shrinking budgets for exchanges.
The Fulbright Association is a visible, vocal champion advocating for the program in Washington, DC and worldwide. We connect alumni in ways that matter through programs that showcase the power of Fulbright. Our work is made possible through generous contributions from our supporters.
There’s still time to Fund It Forward to show your enduring support for mutual understanding and secure our program’s future. Thank you for advancing the Fulbright legacy!