70th anniversary celebration in Belfast

In celebration of the US-UK Fulbright Commission’s 70th anniversary, the Consul General of the United States in Northern Ireland hosted a reception on the 31st of May.

Ardnavalley, the official residence of the Consul General of Northern Ireland, hosted a reception for former and present Fulbrighters to honour their contributions towards cultural collaboration and the work of the Commission in facilitating it.

In attendance were James McElnay, the Acting Vice-Chancellor of Queen’s University Belfast, Professor Ian Montgomery, the Pro-Vice Chancellor of Ulster University, Deputy Consul Bernadette Roberts and supporters and representatives of the Commission. 

James McElnay said, “The ripple effects of the Fulbright Programme seem – and no doubt are – never-ending… We look back with gratitude for the last 70 years of the Fulbright Programme and we look forward with enthusiasm for the next!”

A highlight of the evening was the address from current US Fulbrighter Marissa Piccolo, who shared her experiences of cultural and educational exchange: “It’s really quite astounding how much a place can begin to feel like home and that’s due to many people in this room… It’s a feeling that fills you with gratitude, but also a sense of real possibility and empowerment that changes your life.

"I believe strongly in the inherent value of international education, opportunities for cross-cultural understanding and educational exchange, and what it can teach us all as individuals and global citizens.”

The celebratory reception in Belfast marks part of the Commission’s wider anniversary celebrations that will take place this year.