Fulbrighters Say Hej Då

Fulbright students and scholars during the Spring Farewell Lunch at Reza’s Restaurant in the Andersonville area of Chicago

By Thomas Ahleman — THIS PAST SATURDAY, APRIL 28TH 2012, the Chicago Chapter of the Fulbright Association and the Institute of International Education IIE, said congratulations and farewell to several of the visiting Fulbright students and scholars who are completing their studies in the area or finishing with their research or teaching.

The chapter held the annual farewell luncheon event at the Swedish American Museum and Reza’s Restaurant, both in the Andersonville neighborhood.

The Swedish American Museum tour was divided in two groups. Jessie Aucoin, Education Director of the museum, offering a tour on the second floor.

Thirty-seven friends of the Fulbright program were on hand for a tour of the museum, which included a photography and painting exhibit, “Images of Sweden” as well as the permanent exhibition on Swedish emigration to the U.S.

Spanish Fulbrighter Federico Padrones with his wife and daughter on the third floor of the museum, at the children exhibit

Board members Bruni Hirsch and Kari Burnett during the farewell lunch

Those present included alumni, members of the Fulbright Association board, Fulbrighters, family members as well as the Consul General of Pakistan, Mr. Zaheer Pervaiz Khan and his wife.

The museum visit also included a stop at the Brunk Children’s Museum of Immigration located on the third floor of the museum where the younger (and a few not-so young) guests enjoyed playing on a miniature Swedish stuga (farm,) a miniature ocean liner like the ones that ferried Swedes to the U.S…. and of course on the Viking ship.

Learning about so many people saying goodbye to friends and family to pursue their dreams was a particularly poignant setting for our farewell event.

Following the visit to the museum, everyone enjoyed the delicious Persian buffet at Reza’s Restaurant, where Chapter president Elio Leturia presented certificates to those visiting Fulbrighters who are concluding their studies this spring.

Chicago Chapter president Elio Leturia addressing the Fulbright students and scholars prior to handing their diplomas of completion

Leturia also reminisced about the chapter’s robust program of events over the past year that included the Fall Welcome, Noche Bohemia, International Education Week, Winter Holidays, International Women’s Day and the Rush Hospital Architectural Tour. He also wished our esteemed guests good luck on their journeys home.

Curator Veronica Robinson leading a tour at the first floor of the Swedish Museum where a photography and painting exhibit, “Images of Sweden” is on display

Education Director Jessie Aucoin showing the wall where names of Swedish immigrants are engraved on plaques

Fulbrighter Farida Abdulhafizova, who has finished her studies, with Eldar Seitek and guest Linda Dannenberg

Reza’s menu included falafel, hummus, different kinds of stews and salads, rice and several vegetarian options

Fulbrighter Yazmina Buitrago getting her certificate of completion

Alumna Dr. Norma Green, her husband John Corbett, Chicago Chapter Vice President Thomas Ahleman and Ana Gómez, wife of Colombian Fulbrighter Andrés Gómez

Photos by Ron Harvey and Jason Romano

2 responses to “Fulbrighters Say Hej Då

  1. This looks great! For anyone who want access to the full set of pictures I took, please go to: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ron_harvey/sets/72157629556280288/

  2. Pingback: Good luck on your way back home! 2013 Spring Farewell was celebrated in Greektown | FulbrightChicago

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