By Mary Mares-Awe—SIXTY FOUR FULBRIGHT alumni, students, scholars, and friends of the association attended the 2016 Fall Welcome that took place on Sunday October 16 with a visit to the Jane Addams Hull House Museum on the campus of the University of Illinois at Chicago. The museum tour was followed by a luncheon at Francesca’s on Taylor, located in the Little Italy neighborhood adjacent to the university.
At the Jane Addams museum, visitors got a first-hand look at the objects and memorabilia of the social worker’s original home. Jane Addams is a notable figure in Chicago’s history and on the international stage for her work with the immigrant communities, who were settling Chicago in the late 1800 and early 1900’s. Her pioneering work in social justice helped improve the lives of immigrants through education, skills training and family care. She is the first American woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.
Following the museum visit, the attendees took a walk through Little Italy to Francesca’s restaurant at 1400 W. Taylor Street. There they were greeted at the door by Cristina Sisson Tamm, the chapter’s Treasurer, and by Teuta Peja, a Fulbright student who is the newest member of the board’s membership committee.
At Francesca’s, the guests enjoyed authentic northern Italian meal including pasta, meatballs, salad and a wonderful and delicious tiramisù for desert.
In an informal speech at the start of the luncheon, the chapter’s president, Mary Mares-Awe, welcomed everyone and encouraged the new visiting Fulbright students and scholars to enjoy many of the iconic elements of the American culture. “If I could give you one piece of advice, it’s to take the opportunity to really absorb the best the American culture has to offer without comparing,” she said. Mary went on to mention some of the American classics such as jazz and baseball, namely the Chicago Cubs — which brought a rousing round of applause, acknowledging the teams winning streak.
The pleasant and warm atmosphere of Francesca’s proved conducive to lively, friendly conversations, and real Fulbright camaraderie on a fall Sunday afternoon in Chicago.
Photos by Kevin Spitta