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In Memoriam: Trude Wild (1924–2018)

Fulbright Austria is saddened to announce the passing of Trude Wild, the legendary educational advisor of Austrian Fulbright students, at the age of 95 on December 22, 2018. “Frau Wild”—as she was known to the some 1,400 Austrian students she advised and helped place at American colleges and universities between 1951 and 1987—started her career as an educational exchange advisor working for the United States Information Service in the Exchange Activities Branch at the US Embassy and then became a member of the staff of the Austrian Fulbright Commission.

She was instrumental in advising Austrian students about educational opportunities and institutions in the US at a time when Austrians knew little about the US and even less about American higher education. As an educational advisor, she also worked closely with the Institute of International Education in New York City—one of the so-called cooperating agencies of the Fulbright Program—to manage the applications of many Austrian Fulbright candidates to American colleges and universities. This also entailed negotiating the all-important tuition waivers and soliciting additional scholarships or grants for Austrian Fulbrighters to help cover the considerable costs of living and studying in the US.

Frau Wild was also renowned for her well-informed, competent, and no-nonsense approach to advising and enlightening Austrian students, who frequently needed to be told that not everyone was going to go to one of the famous Ivy League schools and that there are hundreds of other excellent colleges and universities in the US that they have never heard about. Her competence and sage advice were invaluable for generations of Fulbrighters.

Upon her retirement, Trude Wild was awarded the Decoration of Honor in Silver for Service to the Republic of Austria (das Silberne Ehrenzeichen) by Prof. Hans Tuppy, Austrian Minister of Science and Research at the time, in recognition of her thirty-six years of dedicated service. She was buried in the Friedhof Neustift in Vienna on January 7, 2019.

The Fulbright Austria community is deeply indebted to Frau Wild for having done so much for so many generations of Austrian Fulbright grantees and will remember her with deep gratitude.