ON SEPTEMBER 23, 2021, the Chicago Chapter of the Fulbright Association celebrated its annual Fall Event, “Celebration of Fulbright,” commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Fulbright Program. In our first in-person event after 17 months, we were joined by alumni, current visiting Fulbright students and scholars, members of the consular corps, and friends of Fulbright. It was an honor for us to host Consul General Bruno Ruff of Switzerland, Consul General Wolfgang Moessinger of Germany, and Consul of Economics and Trade Monika Boksova of the Czech Republic.
For over three hours guests enjoyed an evening at the Cliff Dwellers private club, located in the 22nd floor penthouse of the former BorgWarner building overlooking Millennium Park and the Art Institute of Chicago. They were serenaded by the beautiful tunes of pianist, Elizabeth Doyle, surrounded by a backdrop of the Chicago skyline.
“The well-attended event offered an outstanding platform for sharing ideas and experiences amongst the numerous Fulbright alumni, docents, current Fulbright students, and members of the Chicago Consular Corps.”—Consul General Bruno Ruff of Switzerland
Since March 2020, a series of activities and events have taken place virtually to maintain our Chicago chapter united. “We were so fortunate that even though it was virtual, a lot of the chapter was staying connected with us,” Dr. Jose said, thanking all board members for their participation during the virtual gatherings behind-the-scenes work. In her welcoming speech, she also highlighted last year’s International Education Week, which was led by our chapter’s vice-president Teuta Peja.
Guests were pleased to meet face to face again. “Yes, it was great to see everybody in person. Everybody was happy to be there! We should have more events in person,” María Salazar, a chemical engineer Fulbright alumna from Mexico said.
Chapter board member Dr. Marilyn Susman, offered a few words to the guests. She announced the creation of a mentorship program for the current international Fulbright visitors. Alumni and current students welcomed the initiative and expressed their interest to participate as mentors and mentees. PH
“The event organized by Fulbright Chicago Chapter provided avenues to socialize and brought a breeze of normalcy to the Fulbright community in Chicago. The event turned out to be much more than a networking session – it was a night to learn something new, celebrate special moments, and look towards the future with resolution and confidence.”—Naida Softic, Fulbright student from Bosnia and Herzegovina
“The whole group was super excited about the event, and those who could not attend were a little disappointed to see such a beautiful view of the place in the group photos,” Colombian Alejandro Morales, master’s student in Museum and Exhibition Studies at UIC, said. “The whole organization is very nice … very comforting for all the scholarship recipients to attend these gatherings in person. Hopefully, as far as possible, it can be repeated.” PH “Let’s remember how much Fulbright meant to us, let’s continue to be Fulbrighters, continue to connect,” Dr. Jose said.