Featured 75th Anniversary News & Events
Keep up throughout 2021 as we celebrate 75 years of the Fulbright Program’s impact, history and alumni. Browse recaps of past events, as well as other articles here.
75 Years of Global Impact
In 2021, we celebrate the Fulbright Program’s history of positive impact on the lives of individuals as well as on global and local communities. We look forward to the next 75 years of Fulbrighters enriching their educations, advancing their careers, and making meaningful contributions to society.Watch the Video
South Africa Celebrates Fulbright Day on April 21
In celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the Fulbright Program, U.S. Mission South Africa invites you to join them in celebrating the signing of the NRF-IIE Fulbright Funding agreement. That same evening, four South African Fulbrighters will be put to the test in a live-streamed general knowledge quiz. Join Fulbright Commissions, U.S. Embassies, and other Fulbright partners and supporters in celebrating the 75th Anniversary around the world.Fulbright Days: Celebrating Around the World
Fulbright Celebrates National Park Week: Explore Crater Lake National Park
John Duwe, a 2017 Fulbright Specialist to Slovenia and Education Coordinator, hosts an exploration of Crater Lake National Park and an introduction to the U.S. National Park Service on April 23. Learn about how the National Park Service connects visitors to nature, conducts vital research and habitat and species preservation, and works with Native American communities to preserve their cultural heritage.Explore Crater Lake National Park
Fulbright Impact in the Field Alumni Panel: Climate Change and Environmental Justice
On April 23, this Fulbright Impact in the Field panel will convene alumni who are scientists, researchers, and other professionals involved in combating climate change. They will discuss the latest scientific and policy developments; how their Fulbright experiences enhanced collaboration within the international scientific community; and how the new ideas they brought back with them benefit their institutions and communities.Learn More about the Panel
TCU Celebrates 75-Year Legacy with the U.S. Fulbright Program
Texas Christian University (TCU) is proud to celebrate a rich legacy with the U.S. Fulbright Program, which marks its 75th anniversary in 2021. More than 50 TCU students and 30 faculty members are Fulbright alumni. Read more about these Fulbrighters and TCU’s Fulbright history at the link below.Read about TCU's Fulbright History
Promote the Fulbright Program on Campus
Promoting the Fulbright Program on campus is essential for raising interest among students and faculty, especially in this 75th anniversary year. Fulbrighters should check with their alma mater, or a local college or university, to ask about opportunities available. Alumni, participants, and campus representatives can refer to the institutional toolkit below for more resources.Download the institutional toolkit
Actions, Insights, and Opportunities
Since its inception in 1946, over 400,000 people from all backgrounds—recent graduates, teachers, scientists and researchers, artists, and more—have participated in the Fulbright Program to help them better understand and advance ideas in the world we share.
What impact will you make?
Making Their Mark
Fulbright Alumni have served as heads of state or government.
Fulbright Alumni have received a Nobel Prize.
Fulbright Alumni have received the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Fulbright Alumni have been awarded
Connecting a Complex and Changing World
In 1946, in the aftermath of World War II, President Harry S. Truman signed legislation into law to establish the Fulbright Program, an international academic exchange program with an ambitious goal—to increase mutual understanding, and support friendly and peaceful relations between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.
The Fulbright Program now operates in 160 countries and has provided over 400,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, and professionals of all backgrounds and in all fields the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to complex global challenges. This timeline represents some of the significant milestones in the Fulbright Program’s history. Check back to see more entries, which will be posted throughout 2021.
John Hope Franklin Begins Fulbright Journey
Franklin, a Presidential Medal of Freedom winner, author, historian and Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board Chair, went on his first Fulbright to the U.K. in 1954.
Passage of Fulbright-Hays Act
President John F. Kennedy signed the Fulbright-Hays Act, re-authorizing the Fulbright Program. The Act also enabled foreign governments to contribute funding to Fulbright programming.
Future Nobel Laureate Starts Fulbright
Muhammad Yunus arrived in the U.S. from Bangladesh to study economics. The professor, social entrepreneur, and founder of Grameen Bank won the Nobel Peace Prize (2006) for microlending to reduce poverty.
Fulbright 40th Anniversary
Distinguished Lecturer Grants Program created to celebrate Fulbright’s anniversary. Recipients include luminaries such as poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist Maya Angelou, who traveled on her Fulbright to Ghana in 1986.
Fulbright Association Launches Prize
The Fulbright Association, the U.S. Fulbright alumni group, awarded its first Fulbright Prize for International Understanding to Nelson Mandela for his work fighting apartheid in South Africa.
Fulbright Alumni Serve in Congress
Fulbright alumni have long served in the U.S. Congress. The 110th U.S. Congress convened on January 4, 2007, with four Fulbright alumni serving in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Teacher Exchanges expand program offerings for primary and secondary teachers in the U.S. and 70 countries; nearly 11,000 teacher alumni have brought global perspectives to classrooms around the world.
6 Fulbright Alumni Lead Their Countries
Served or were elected: Colville Norbert Young (Belize), Ashraf Ghani (Afghanistan), Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic (Croatia), David Granger (Guyana), Alexander de Croo (Belgium), Francisco Sagasti (Peru)
Fulbright Alumni: Lasting Legacies
Each month of the 75th Anniversary year will feature notable Fulbrighters who have made an impact on the world. Read their stories here.
Kathryn S. Fuller
Former President and CEO, World Wildlife Fund U.S
Distinguished Fellow to Uganda, 1996 and U.S. Scholar to China, 2000
Fulbright…brought me to thinkers and doers from an array of disciplines and backgrounds.Read Her Story
Lillygol "Lilly" Sedaghat
Storyteller and Speaker
Fulbright-National Geographic Storytelling Fellow, 2017
Lilly's Fulbright experience helped her realize just how critical her role as a storyteller is in the fight to create a more responsible world.Read Her Story
Carbonate Geochemist and Sedimentologist
U.S. Scholar to New Zealand, 2020
I’m actually not worried about the planet, it will still be here…What I’m worried about is how we are going to exist in that new world.Read Her Story
Discover Fulbright Program news and updates.
Egyptologist and Fulbright alumnus Dr. Zahi Hawass’ discovery “has been hailed as one of the most important archaeological finds since Tutankhamun’s tomb.”
The U.S. alumni organization of the Fulbright Program, the Fulbright Association, is sharing stories of inspirational Fulbrighters throughout 2021.
On March 23-24, the new cohort of Fulbright Arctic Scholars held a virtual meeting to kick off their 18-month collaborative research program.
William Carter was unable to read until the age of 13 because of his severe dyslexia and dyspraxia. He is now on a Fulbright at the University of California, Berkeley.
Texas Christian University (TCU) launched a site that celebrates TCU Fulbrighters and their stories.
Travel writer, multimedia journalist, and Fulbright alumnus Sebastian Modak was named the new Editor-at-Large for Lonely Planet.
Eyþór Kamban Þrastarson, a Fulbright fellow (Iceland to the U.S., 2015) and a manager of a Erasmus collaboration project that aims to empower and enable young people that are blind and visually impaired, discusses the impact Fulbright made on his life.
We congratulate the 2020-21 Top Producing Institutions of Fulbright U.S. Students and Scholars, who had the most Fulbrighters in certain categories.
Fulbright Japan announced that Rakuten, Inc. has committed to establishing the Fulbright-Mikitani Memorial Grant to support future Japanese participants.
The National Archives and the State Department formalized a new partnership to establish the Fulbright-National Archives Heritage Science Fellowship.
Fulbright and the National Park Service signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), increasing environmental and cultural awareness worldwide.
Read more about the Fulbright Program’s 75th anniversary celebration in DipNote, the U.S. Department of State’s official blog.
Take a look back at the program’s highlights and milestones in an unprecedented year.
Now back from the field, the four 2019-20 Fulbright-National Geographic Storytelling Fellows share their research and photos.
Organizations around the world are celebrating Fulbright's 75th Anniversary.
We encourage all program alumni, partners, and friends to engage with Fulbright and their communities.