On behalf of the U.S. Government, I am honored that the 2014 Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation has been conferred on the Fulbright Program. We are delighted that the Fulbright Program has been recognized for furthering the Prince of Asturias Foundation’s mission of “encouraging and promoting the scientific, cultural and humanistic values that form part of mankind’s universal heritage.”
His Royal Highness the Prince of Asturias Felipe de Borbon y Grecia, the honorary president of the Prince of Asturias Foundation, was an honorary Fulbright alumnus who studied at Georgetown University in 1995, and has long been a friend and supporter of the Fulbright Program.
Senator Fulbright once said that “creative leadership and liberal education … are the first requirements for a hopeful future for humankind.” The remarkable exchange program he created in 1946 has been a testament to that belief.
The Fulbright Program is extraordinary. I know that as the father of a Fulbright Scholar, and I know it as a Secretary of State who travels and meets enormous numbers of foreign leaders – in parliaments and palaces – whose first connection to America was through Fulbright.
For nearly 70 years, Congress has backed the Fulbright Program in partnership with foreign governments and the global higher education community. They’ve made it a model of international cooperation, connecting people and ideas across the United States and 155 countries. It thrives thanks to the dedication of the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, and Bilateral Commissions and U.S. Embassies around the world.
This award honors more than 360,000 Fulbright alumni, current students and scholars involved with the Fulbright Program today, and all who have worked to implement Senator Fulbright’s vision of promoting international goodwill through exchange.