Universities building Partnerships with Chapters

I recently sat down with President Shirley Collado and Provost La Jerne Terry Cornish of Ithaca College, a new Institutional Member of the Fulbright Association. I came to their beautiful hilltop campus, along with Central New York Chapter president Kathleen Mulligan, to share many ideas on how to build a strategic partnership between the College and the Chapter.


Partnerships like these are a win-win. For colleges and universities, they offer the opportunity to advance internationalization priorities, to drive more and better Fulbright applications from students and faculty, and to raise the profile of the institution.  Chapters, led by volunteers often from that campus (Kathleen is an Ithaca College professor), get support to host great events and do more effective community outreach.


Two examples should help you see how your institution can “win” by collaborating with your local chapter. Many chapters participate in Fulbright in the Classroom, an outreach program to share Fulbright experiences with students K-12, especially in middle schools. Working with your community relations office, they could reach more schools, simultaneously deepening your outreach programming.


Our chapters are also launching a new program, the Fulbright Forum, rebranding ongoing events on international subjects that provoke meaningful conversations: a panel on US-China relations, a screening of a documentary on refugees, a lecture on climate change. These events engage Fulbright alumni, faculty and students, while raising the profile of Fulbright program and alumni to inspire more applications.


There are many partnerships forming, meeting a growing interest in our Institutional Members to realize the full benefits of their membership, and the support chapters find in joint programming. Members Montclair State University and the University of South Florida, for example, are working with our office to plan joint events with their local Fulbright alumni.


If this idea sounds appealing, please contact me directly: john@fulbright.org.  I’m glad to schedule a call to discuss the possibilities and to connect you to our network of local Fulbright alumni and chapters.


John Bader

Executive Director

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