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With Record Number of Fulbright Grants Awarded, Davidson Places Among Top in the Nation

by | May 30, 2018 | News, Stories from Davidson College

Since 1949 86 Davidson Fulbright Scholars have studied in 37 countries around the globe.

This year’s record-setting crop of 13 Fulbright U.S. Student Scholars places Davidson College among the top producers of Fulbrights nationally. Seniors and young alumni received awards for research, study and teaching abroad.

Fulbright national totals are not yet available, but a comparison of the past five year’s numbers places Davidson’s current status in top-five territory for bachelor’s granting institutions. That’s true for the absolute number of scholarships as well as for Davidson’s percentage of applications funded. Davidson also lands squarely in the upper ranks when compared across all types of colleges and universities.

The college’s big jump from a total of eight Fulbrights in each of several recent years marks a record high at Davidson. It continues a strong trend of recognition by the prestigious Fulbright U.S. Student Program of the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

The U.S. award program was developed in 1946 by U.S. Sen. J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, who called for the use of surplus World War II property to fund the “promotion of international good will through the exchange of students in the fields of education, culture and science.” It is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government. Fulbright alumni have become heads of state, judges, ambassadors, cabinet ministers, CEOs, and university presidents, as well as leading journalists, artists, scientists and teachers. They include 59 Nobel Laureates, 82 Pulitzer Prize winners, 71 MacArthur Fellows, 16 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients, and thousands of leaders across the private, public and non-profit sectors.

Davidson has had at least one Fulbright in all but a very few years since the program’s inception. This year, Fulbright scholars will travel to Botswana, Colombia, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Malaysia, Mexico and Spain. Two more young alumni will travel to Austria on related Fulbright Austria and Fulbright Canada awards administered in those countries.

This year’s Davidson Fulbright scholars will:

  • Conduct pediatric oncology research at the Necker Children’s Hospital in Paris, France
  • Teach English in Germany, with a focus on the history and language of nationalism
  • Research HIV and hepatitis B transmission at the Botswana-Harvard HIV Reference Laboratory
  • Teach English and foster American goodwill around the globe

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