Fulbright Association Founding
In 1976, the Board of Foreign Scholarships (now the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board) convened regional Fulbright
alumni meetings to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Fulbright
Program. The Fulbright Association, Inc., grew out of resolutions adopted
at those meetings.
Senator J. William Fulbright also encouraged alumni to
create an active constituency for the Fulbright Program. He wanted alumni
to educate members of Congress and the public about the benefits of advancing
increased mutual understanding between the people of the United States
and those of other countries. He also wanted U.S. alumni to welcome and to
exchange ideas with Fulbrighters from abroad. Senator Fulbright traveled
from Arkansas to the United Kingdom
on a Rhodes scholarship and valued throughout his life the welcome and support
he received while he studied away from home.
The Fulbright Association was established on Feb. 27, 1977,
as an independent, private nonprofit, membership organization. The late
Arthur Power Dudden became its founding president.
The U.S. Fulbright Association's interest and ability to
further a "global network" of Fulbright alumni associations was formally recognized in 1983 by the executive
directors of Fulbright Commissions in Europe and Israel in the following resolution:
"We recognize that the experience and support of former Fulbrighters can
help to maintain the high quality of the Fulbright Program in the future; we
shall assist the formation and activities of Fulbright alumni within our
respective countries; and we shall encourage their cooperation with the
Fulbright Alumni Association of the United States of America."
Strengthening the Fulbright Alumni Community
The Fulbright Association currently has approximately 6,400
individual members, about one-third of whom are life members. To
facilitate interaction and discussion on global issues, the Association
launched an online community for Fulbright alumni and has increased the
functionality of that network with this redesigned web site.
Approximately 220 institutional members, including colleges,
universities, and international educational organizations throughout the
country, support the Fulbright Association.
Our 58 local affiliates hold more than 200 programs for
visiting Fulbrighters and alumni throughout the country.
Minutes of the Association's first meeting of members in February 1977
record participants' desire to create an alumni organization that would extend
and build upon the Fulbright experience and enable alumni to give something
back. The Fulbright Association exists to help alumni contribute to the
well-being of the Fulbright Program, to the institutions and communities
to which they return, and to the country that made possible their Fulbright