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
Celebrate Romania's Fulbright Day on May 18
On May 18th, 2021, the Romanian-U.S. Fulbright Commission will be celebrating 75 years since the Fulbright Program was initiated and 60+ years of its presence in Romania. Join them for an alumni panel on global responses to global opportunities and challenges. Throughout 2021, Fulbright Commissions, U.S. Embassies, Universities, and other Fulbright partners and supporters are celebrating the 75th Anniversary with a wide and varied range of activities taking place around the world.Fulbright Days: Celebrating Around the World
Roger Rosenblatt: The Writing Life on May 14
Roger Rosenblatt, writer, author, professor, Emmy Award winner, Peabody Award winner, and 1965 Fulbright U.S. Student to Ireland will discuss his career, award-winning new book, “Cold Moon: On Life, Love, and Responsibility,” awards, and Fulbright experience. Rosenblatt will expand on his reasons for writing, share advice on telling moving stories, and reveal the three most important lessons of his life.Roger Rosenblatt: The Writing Life
Sasha Velour: Trailblazer. Artist. Fulbrighter.
In celebration of Pride Month, join the Fulbright Program for a conversation with Sasha Velour, winner of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” (Season 9) and 2009 Fulbright U.S. Student to Russia. Sasha will discuss her Fulbright experience, share the behind-the-scenes influences that have shaped her celebrated career, and address the important contributions the LGBTQIA+ community has made on art, culture, and history in the United States and abroad.Sasha Velour: Trailblazer. Artist. Fulbrighter
Alumni Experts Discuss Environmental Justice in the Face of Climate Change
The “Fulbright Impact in the Field: Climate Change and Environmental Justice” panel convened scientists, researchers, and other professionals involved in combating climate change. They discussed the latest scientific and policy developments, and looked at how new approaches and international collaborations can be used to combat climate change and pursue environmental justice. Watch a recording of the panel and review the three key takeaways.Read the Event Recap
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.
Sociologist and Professor of Social Sciences at Columbia University
U.S. Scholar to Japan, 2008
[My Fulbright experience] made me a stronger researcher, keener teacher, and a more committed mentor and leader.Read Her Story
Neuroscientist, Physician, and Paralympian
Foreign Student from Singapore, 1989
Living life to the fullest means not only chasing my own personal dreams but living a life to benefit others.Read His Story
Discover Fulbright Program news and updates.
Writer, poet, and Fulbright alumna Maya Angelou was chosen to be one of the first women to appear on a series of quarters issued by the U.S. Mint.
Egyptian media outlet Cairo Scene followed alumnus Dr. Zahi Hawass and Fulbright Egypt for this exclusive video feature.
Janai Nelson, alumna and Associate Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), was a guest commentator on PBS Newshour to discuss the trial and verdict of Derek Chauvin.
Destry Maria Sibley spoke about her grandmother’s story of being sent to a Mexican orphanage as a child during the Spanish Civil War.
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.