“Thanksgiving – Thank Fulbright”

On November 28, this year’s “Giving Tuesday,” the first “Thanksgiving – Thank Fulbright” gala was organized and co-hosted by Fulbright Austria and Austrian Fulbright Alumni at Pfarrwirt in Vienna’s 19th district.  The event was part of the first annual Fulbright Austria call for alumni and private sector support.  In the course of the evening, a number of additional initiatives were introduced, including:  the Austrian Ministry of Science, Research and Economy’s pledge to provide matching funds for all donations to the alumni fund up to € 150,000; a new Alumni Advisory panel representing diverse professions and generations of Fulbrighters; and an initiative called “Wirtschaft hilft” featuring fifty NGOs including Fulbright Austria.  Following words of welcome by Fulbright Austria executive director Dr. Lonnie Johnson and Austrian Fulbright Alumni president Prof. Karlheinz Schwarz, Director General Mag. Barbara Weitgruber delivered greetings on behalf of the Federal Minister of Science, Research and Economy.  Chargé d’Affaires Eugene Young, Honorary Co-Chair of Fulbright Austria, underlined the visionary power of Senator J. William Fulbright, the founder of this signature academic exchange program.  80 Fulbright alumni, students, scholars and teaching assistants, both U.S. and Austrian, used the opportunity to rekindle their allegiance to the Fulbright Program and its core value of mutual understanding.