The United States Congress created the Fulbright Program in 1946, immediately after World War II. Senator J. William Fulbright, sponsor of the legislation, saw it as a step toward building international cooperation.
Since the establishment of the Fulbright Program, more than 42,000 Americans and 158,000 participants from other countries have benefited from the Fulbright experience. Currently, the U.S. Student Program annually awards approximately 1,000 grants to U.S. citizens to study overseas and approximately 3,000 non U.S. national students to study in U.S.
The Fulbright Program came to our parts of the world on November 9, 1964, when the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the United States of America signed the Agreement on financing the educational exchange program. Until the dissolution of Yugoslavia, several thousands awards were issued under this Agreement to scholars, researchers, artists, university professors and students who facilitated the establishment of academic ties and links between Yugoslav and American universities and contributed to the improvement of the traditionally good relationships between the two countries.
In the early 1990s the Program was temporarily suspended in order to be renewed after the democratic changes in our country had taken place. In extremely difficult conditions of 1992, the Fulbright Alumni Association was instituted as an independent entity. By universal vote, its first Chairman became Dr. Vojin Sulovic, a distinguished scholar and humanitarian, professor of Belgrade University School of Medicine and member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts. The Fulbright Commission Program Officers Ksenija Todorovic and Bojan Drndic were instrumental in maintaining the activities of the Association, which was under a strong repression from the current authoritarian regime.
Today, we are reviving the Association in much more conducive and easier conditions. In harmony with the traditions of our mutual great scholars, Tesla and Pupin, we believe in the sharing of knowledge. We should learn from one another, and from our common experiences that have had magnificent ascents, but also traumatic falls.
The Fulbright Alumni Association will endevor to improve the conditions of academic exchange between the U.S.A. and Serbia and Montenegro, and assemble as many of former grantees as possible. However, we believe that our most important task is to work toward the renewal of the bilateral intergovernmental agreement on educational exchange between the two countries.
The Association now incorporates Ron Brown alumni as well, and the next step would be its expansion toward the Hubert Humphrey alumni and JFDP.