On February 18, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) hosted a reception to honor the 2019-2020 Fulbright U.S. Top Producing Institutions and the 2018-2019 Fulbright Historically Black College and University (HBCU) Institutional Leaders.
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State (PDAS) for Educational and Cultural Affairs Matt Lussenhop and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State (DAS) for Academic Programs Caroline Casagrande welcomed higher education leaders, including college and university presidents, chancellors, deans, administrators, and Fulbright faculty advisors to celebrate their successful engagement with the Fulbright program.
Congratulating the honorees, PDAS Lussenhop said, “We know that engaging with the Fulbright program enriches campuses, from community colleges to large research institutions. Your institutions have recognized this, and we are grateful that you have worked to create a culture that celebrates the Fulbright program on campus.” He also recognized the inaugural group of Fulbright HBCU Institutional Leaders, a new recognition created to underscore ECA’s long-standing commitment to build diversity and inclusion within the Fulbright Program and all the Bureau’s international exchange programs. PDAS Lussenhop celebrated the Fulbright Program’s relationship with the nineteen inaugural Fulbright HBCU Institutional Leaders and noted that the new designation not only acknowledged “the strong partnership between the Fulbright Program and HBCUs, but also encouraged the entire network of HBCUs to increase their Fulbright engagement.”
Johnathan Holifield, Executive Director of the White House Initiative on HBCUs and member of the White House Domestic Policy Council, also spoke at the event. He congratulated the HBCU Institutional Leaders on their commitment to enhancing their campuses through engagement with the Fulbright Program, saying, “There is increasing understanding about the importance and unique role that HBCUs have played historically, continue to play today, and will continue to play in the future. Likewise, there is increasing awareness that HBCU students and communities, in order to be competitive in 2020, need international competencies to demonstrate cross-cultural understanding and to have a true global perspective. The Fulbright Program clearly helps make that happen.”
Chancellor Robert J. Jones of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a 2019-2020
Fulbright Top Producing Institution, and Cynthia Jackson-Hammond, President of Central State University, a 2018-2019 Fulbright HBCU Institutional Leader also delivered remarks at the event.
The reception was held in coordination with the annual conference of the Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA). In December 2019, ECA recognized nineteen HBCUs as Fulbright HBCU Institutional Leaders for academic year 2018-2019, for their high level of engagement with the Fulbright Program. On February 10, 2020 the Chronicle of Higher Education published the lists of nearly 200 U.S. higher education institutions that sent the most Fulbright U.S. Students and Scholars abroad in academic year 2019-2020.