The Department of State, the Embassy of Italy, and the US-Italy Fulbright Commission celebrated the 70th anniversary of the inception of the Fulbright Program in Italy with a conference hosted at the Embassy’s Auditorium in Washington DC.
The Italian Fulbright Commission was the fifth Fulbright Commission established in Europe, and one of the first ten worldwide. Since 1948 more than 14000 Americans and Italians have participated in the Program. Nowadays, each year, about 70-80 Fulbright scholarships enable Italians and Americans to conduct research, lecture, and study in the other country. The Fulbright Program is a symbol of the friendship between Italy and the USA and of the role that education plays in creating unity of purpose between different societies and cultures.
Both Ambassador Varricchio and Assistant Secretary of State for Education and Cultural Affairs, Marie Therese Royce, underscored the importance of the program to deepen individual ties and strengthen relations between our nations. The Fulbright Program has created a community of individuals who are proven experts in their respective fields, a network that has profoundly impacted every sector of our ties, in politics, literature, art, science, technology and journalism.
“When Senator Fulbright began this program, he said it was about leadership, learning, and empathy between countries. Fulbright alumni embody those characteristics, and they inspire us with their accomplishments,” said Assistant Secretary Royce.
As Ambassador Varricchio put it during the event: “Without the Fulbright Program the personal and professional bonds that have developed between our people would not be as strong and effective as they are today”.
Paola Sartorio, the Executive Director of the US-Italy Fulbright Commission, said: "I would like to acknowledge the outstanding contribution of grantees and alumni. They provide invaluable support in running our selection process and developing our partnerships. Our program would not be a success without them!"