The greatest strength of the Fulbright program is not in its ability to award grants, but in the citizen’s ability to reach for a better world. The effect for which I speak is not limited to those whom have been awarded grants, but also for the ones that have tried.
There once was a dream started by the greatest generation. This dream was for a free world. Where national barriers were just imaginary lines; where trade and ideas knew now bounds. But now we are turning inward, forgetting to ever look up and wonder. We are losing sight on helping our fellow man. The strength of America lies in our ability to unlock the human potential. The potential to right the wrongs of tyranny and oppression. Our passion has driven creativity for a brighter world. We are the burning light that has shown the way for the meek, but we are flickering in our squabble for entitlement. The resolve of Senator Fulbright’s vision is still relevant in our world today. We desperately need to keep our eyes on the horizon. If we build walls and shut ourselves in, liberty will wither.
We must protect this liberty of student exchange.
As a constituent and a friend of the Fulbright Program, I urge you to Stand for Fulbright. The proposed 52% budget cut to the Department of State’s exchange programs for Fiscal Year 2018 would result in a 47% cut to the Fulbright Program.
I believe in the mission of the Fulbright Program, and I stand in support of its contributions to:
– American Leadership. Fulbright is the most respected and comprehensive exchange program in the world. The scholarship has produced 130,000 American and 240,000 international alumni: leaders in every field, in 165 countries. This includes 82 Pulitzer Prize winners, 57 Nobel Prize laureates.
– National Security. Fulbright participants have built wide networks of friends at low cost, anchoring U.S. national security in a global community of trust, understanding, and hope. Global alumni include 37 current and former heads of state or government who know and support the United States.
– Local Economies. Returning Fulbright Scholars bring expertise, innovation, and global connections to economies all over the United States. Visiting international scholars spend their grants locally, putting millions of dollars directly into American communities.
– International Alliances. The Fulbright Program promotes cooperation with 165 countries, 49 of which have long-standing commissions that match or exceed U.S. funding with their own contributions, totaling $110 million annually. Fulbright’s reputation is an anchor to many bilateral relations, promoting education, business development, and leadership.
– U.S. Higher Education. Thousands of American universities and colleges benefit from the Fulbright Program. Over 1,200 higher education institutions participate in the Fulbright Program. Faculty members and students conduct research and teach worldwide and visiting scholars provide expertise and tuition dollars.
Cutting funding for the Fulbright Program would do great harm to America’s security, economy, and educational system.
Will you stand with me and oppose cuts to the Fulbright program?
(You may use this story as a template for a letter to your congressman or representative as they have the final say on the fiscal budget. If you are feeling like a zealot you can call your congresswoman and representative.)
Use this link to sign the Fulbright Petition.
For a personal story that the Fulbright Program funded click here.