Politics

Westerman, Arkansas House Delegation Honor 75th Anniversary of Fulbright Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 30, 2021
CONTACT: Claire Nance

WASHINGTON – Congressmen Bruce Westerman (AR-04), Steve Womack (AR-3), French Hill (AR-2), and Rick Crawford (AR-1), introduced a resolution commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Fulbright Program, America’s flagship educational exchange program established by former Arkansas Senator J. William Fulbright. The milestone will officially be marked this Sunday, August 1st.

“The Fulbright Program has become a model for study-abroad education by providing students across the nation the opportunity to broaden their horizons and participate in foreign diplomacy by interacting with different cultures, ideas, and traditions,” said Congressman Westerman. “On the 75th anniversary of the program, I am proud of its significant impact in the lives of so many students, all due to the passion of one Arkansan.”

“The Fulbright Program has been a tool of diplomacy and force for good. It has advanced global cooperation and connected people and ideas, driving change and a brighter future,” said Congressman Womack. “As we mark 75 years of this prestigious program, we are proud to honor the scholars and legacy of service demonstrated. What was once a concept developed in Arkansas has become a pillar of international education.”

“Since 1946, the Fulbright Program, named for former Arkansas Senator J. William Fulbright, has been the flagship international exchange program fostering a mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and other countries through education,” said Congressman Hill. “I’ve seen the Fulbright Program’s success firsthand when I traveled to Afghanistan and met an extraordinary woman, Naheed Esar, who graduated from the University of Arkansas as a Fulbright Scholar with a master’s degree in cultural anthropology. I thank Congressman Womack for introducing this resolution honoring the 75th anniversary of the program, and I look forward to following the program’s success in the future.”

“The Fulbright Program has played an essential role in American diplomacy, ambassadorship, and education over the years,” said Congressman Crawford. “I am happy to represent a state that founded such a prestigious program. On the 75th anniversary of the program, it is my pleasure to emphasize its legacy represented by its alumni, who contribute to a more peaceful, equitable, prosperous, and just world through higher learning, service, and global relations.”

“For 75 years, Fulbright scholars, alumni, and global partners have exchanged ideas, built mutual understanding, and promoted American culture and values” said DeDe Long, Chair of the Fulbright Association Board of Directors. “As an Arkansan, I am especially proud of this program’s extraordinary contribution to the global community, and I look forward to its future.”

Background:

The late Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas introduced the program in the House in 1945 to promote peace and understanding in the aftermath of World War II. His goal was “to bring a little more knowledge, a little more reason, and a little more compassion into world affairs.” Since President Truman signed the Program into law on August 1, 1946, over 400,000 participants from the United States and 160 countries have studied, taught, and conducted research while immersed in a foreign culture.

Alumni include 60 Nobel Laureates, 39 Heads of State, 16 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients, and leaders of industry, government, and education. The Fulbright Program serves as a critical tool in strengthening the United States’ diplomatic partnerships and goodwill across the globe.

The House resolution was introduced with 15 cosponsors and also has a companion bill in the Senate, which is supported by fellow Arkansans and U.S. Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton.

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