Dear Fulbright Community,
I hope this finds you and your loved ones in good health.
The pandemic has created an unprecedented situation that affects us all. This crisis has disrupted every aspect of the Fulbright Program operations around the world. This was not easy for any of us, but especially for our grantees. Fulbright Greece had to act quickly to ensure the safety and security of our grantees and offer moral, practical, and financial support. Overnight, our Fulbright grantees became Fulbright alumni. This transition was certainly different from what any of us originally envisioned. I want to recognize the Fulbright Greece team and Board of Directors commitment and work over these last several weeks, even as we continue to observe the impact of this public health crisis.
We are witnessing what will be remembered as a historic deployment of remote work and digital services across the board, including medicine, government, education, culture, entertainment, and more. It is profoundly changing international education and exchanges. We are uncertain as to what the next several weeks and months will bring. This moment requires innovation to support continuity and critical services in a highly fluid environment. We can be certain that the world will be different. Fulbright will evolve as well to meet the challenges of this new post-pandemic era, but we will rely on our firm foundations to pave this new path
Since its establishment in 1948 under post-WWII conditions, Fulbright Greece has steadfastly provided scholarships to Greek and U.S. citizens, students, academics, scientists, researchers, teachers, and artists. Scholarship recipients show promise to excel as leaders in their respective fields and as responsible, mindful global citizens. Fulbright was established to create global citizens—those who dare to address universal problems and create meaningful change. Fulbright’s goal is to support talent, encourage academic excellence, and allow innovation. Despite our current challenges, we are pleased to announce that both the U.S. and Greek scholarship program for academic year 2020–2021 will award a total of 65–70 grants representing a diverse range of academic disciplines.
To ensure the safety of current and future grantees, The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the U.S. Department of State recently announced that the 2020–2021 Fulbright Program will be delayed until January 2021. (There will be only a few program exceptions, such as the graduate-student degree programs and second-year grants.) We are working to ensure that this transformative and life-changing opportunity will be fully available to Fulbright grantees despite a later-than-usual start in the academic year.
Our responsibility is to uphold Fulbright’s mission and signature standards of excellence by providing outstanding international educational experiences while grounding our decisions in science. Our decisions are informed by compassion, empathy, and respect for everyone in the Fulbright community.
Fulbright grantees and alumni in both the U.S. and Greece are integral to the continued success of the Fulbright Program. Together, we create a vibrant, dynamic, diverse, and interconnected network. The continuity and growth of programs offered by Fulbright Greece is possible because of the support of the government of the United States, the government of the Hellenic Republic, and the unwavering support of our donors.
In the midst of such unprecedented changes, we wish to express our gratitude and appreciation to our donors. Your support now is more critical than ever. These are exceptional circumstances. They test our commitment to empathy and underscore the vital importance of international cooperation, knowledge sharing, and human connection. These remain as relevant today in our interconnected world as they were over 70 years ago at the founding of the Fulbright Program.
I hope you will take a moment to read our Fulbright E-News.
With warm regards and wishes for good health.
Artemis A. Zenetou
Photo Credit: Lambros Papanikolatos