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Letter to the Chairman, Board of Foreign Scholarships, on the Fulbright Program.

May 11, 1951

[ Released May 11, 1951 Dated May 10, 1951 ]

Dear Dr. Johnson:

I have read with interest the resolution adopted by the Board of Foreign Scholarships on April 7, 1951, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of the Board for their outstanding public service.

The program on which they have been working (created by Public Law 584, 79th Congress, and commonly known as the Fulbright Act) provides for the international exchange of students, professors, research scholars and teachers.

This program is vitally important in widening the knowledge and technical ability of the peoples of the twelve participating countries. Even more important, it is he/ping us all to understand each other better than ever before. And it is proving effective in combatting communist lies and distortions about social, economic and political conditions and objectives in our respective countries.

The Board of Foreign Scholarships, as well as the Department of State and the binational educational foundations and commissions overseas, is to be commended for the significant success already achieved and for the considerable prestige which is accruing to this program abroad.

I am pleased to accept the resolution of the Board of Foreign Scholarships, to approve the principles it embodies and to reaffirm my unqualified support for the purpose which this program represents.

Very sincerely yours,


[Walter Johnson, Ph.D., Chairman, Board of Foreign Scholarships, 5625 Kenwood Avenue, Chicago 37, Illinois]

Note: In the resolution the Board of Foreign Scholarships expressed "(1) its commendation for the excellent administration of the Fulbright Act by the Department of State, (2) its deep flanks for the thorough and highly valuable staff work performed by the Department for the Board of Foreign Scholarships, and (3) its confidence that in the continued administration of this program by the Department of State the exchange of persons under the Fulbright Act will make a lasting and significant contribution to the aims and objectives of American foreign policy."

The White House release making public the resolution and the President's letter pointed out that from the time Public Law 584 was enacted on August 1, 1946 (60 Stat. 754), the United States had signed executive agreements with 20 countries to provide for the exchange of students, professors, research scholars, and teachers. As a result, 1,907 Americans had received awards to study, teach, lecture, or conduct research in foreign countries, and 1,731 nationals of other countries had received awards for similar projects in the United States. In addition 646 foreign students had received scholarships for study in American schools in their home country, and it was expected that 3,310 persons would be beneficiaries under the program for the current year.

Harry S. Truman, Letter to the Chairman, Board of Foreign Scholarships, on the Fulbright Program. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/231049

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