Washington, DC – On Wednesday, April 19th the Fulbright Association was proud to present the 2022 Fulbright Prize for International Understanding to Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett and Dr. Anthony Fauci. Doctors Corbett and Fauci were at the head of the development and distribution of the life-saving COVID-19 mRNA vaccine and assisted in allowing the world to return to normalized activity.
The ceremony opened with words from Fulbright alumnus Dr. John Bader who said of the recipients:
“Thanks to vaccines and your support, students across America have been inspired to explore the world. Through our Fulbright in the classroom program, Fulbrighters are making the world more inviting to explore and its diverse peoples more understandable by sharing their experiences with students, including those in small towns, at community colleges, and HBCUs. Our volunteers are inspiring a more diverse generation to be global citizens and future Fulbrighters.”
The Honorable Cynthia Ackron Baldwin, Chair of the National Board of the Fulbright Association, remarked:
“This evening as we honor our Laureates we reflect on the vision and values of the Fulbright Association for a peaceful and interconnected world in which all peoples and cultures are respected, diversity is valued and we are committed to mutual understanding.”
In her acceptance of the Prize, Dr. Corbett remarked on the immense progress the world had made since the beginning of the Coronavirus Pandemic in 2020.
“This award is given at a time when the pandemic looks different than it did three years ago. We are finally at a place where there is hope. We can all see a little bit of light. Being a part of shining that light is not only an honor, but a responsibility moving forward.”
Dr. Corbett finally offered her reflections on the meaning of the Fulbright Prize of International Understanding to her. She stated:
“This prize for international understanding is coming to me, a person who prior to the pandemic could not even quite grasp how my science on a day to day basis could positively change the world. In the beginning, I had no international understanding at all. All I had was a little motivation. What I have learned from this vaccine development moment is that one’s purpose is not always clear cut and defined. I started this pandemic as merely a scientist and by way of the universe, now I am so much more than that.”
While accepting the Fulbright Prize, Dr. Fauci spoke on the shared experiences that the world has faced as a result of the global pandemic and the collective nature of hardship, but also strength that COVID-19 has brought forth in our world:
“Now the theme of the Fulbright prize is ‘Global Understanding’ and so in the context of the global pandemic of COVID, our global understanding has been inexorably linked to experiences that we shared with the rest of the world there for there are few experiences more global than the universal nature of a historic global pandemic.”
Dr. Fauci’s closing statements provided a call for the future of international understanding and the spirit of the Fulbright mission in improving our world.
“Finally, looking ahead to my own future goals, I am committed to continuing to contribute however and wherever I can be most effective to support activities that in the spirit of William Fulbright enhance the health and wellbeing of all people in the United States and around the globe.”
The Fulbright Prize was made possible by the generous gifts of Pfizer, ADP Foundation, Rice Global, Highmark, Georgia-Pacific, Leo Berwick, EY, Venable, UPMC Health Plans, and The Pennsylvania State University.
About the J. William Fulbright Prize for International Understanding
The Fulbright Prize honors one of the world’s most prestigious international exchange programs, as well as the vision of its sponsor, the late Senator J. William Fulbright. Awarded by the Fulbright Association since 1993, the Prize recognizes outstanding contributions to promoting peace through greater understanding among peoples, cultures, and nations. The Prize has a distinguished history of laureates, among them Nelson Mandela, Jimmy Carter, Desmond Tutu, Bill Clinton, Vaclav Havel, Corazon Aquino, Mary Robinson, Doctors without Borders, Bill and Melinda Gates, Angela Merkel, and Bono. More on the Prize, with a complete list of laureates, at fulbright.org/prize
About the Fulbright Program
The Fulbright Program celebrates its 75th Anniversary this year, marking its creation in 1946 through Congressional legislation proposed by Senator J. William Fulbright. The Program embodies the visionary concept of promoting mutual understanding between countries through academic and bicultural exchange. The Program provides exchanges between the United States and more than 160 countries worldwide, funded by the U.S. Government with bipartisan support and contributions from 52 foreign countries whose permanent commissions execute the Fulbright Program on a binational level. Annually, about 8,000 grantees, American and foreign, participate in the Fulbright exchange as students, scholars, researchers, English teachers, and professional specialists. Since its inception, the Program has sponsored approximately 390,000 grantees. Read more at eca.state.gov/fulbright
About the Fulbright Association
The Fulbright Association is the alumni organization of the Fulbright Program in the United States, representing over 140,000 American grantees. Founded in 1977, it is an independent non-profit organization based in Washington, DC, with 55 chapters in 38 states. Its mission is to continue and extend the Fulbright tradition of education, advocacy, and service through local, national and international programs. The Fulbright Association works with partners in more than 160 countries and 70 sister alumni associations around the world. Read more at fulbright.org