For 70 years, Fulbright Austria has facilitated academic exchange between Austria and the United States of America for students, teaching assistants, and scholars to promote mutual understanding between both countries and to bring Austrian and Americans a bit closer together. In 2020, we set out on a journey to celebrate “70 years of bright minds.” A year ago, we started our celebrations with the anniversary of the bilateral agreement between the Republic of Austria and the United States of America. One year later, on 10 June 2021, we will celebrate the 70th anniversary of the first academic exchange that established the Fulbright bridge, a bridge that has connected our two countries ever since. When the first generation of program participants began their journey in 1951, Fulbright Austria became fully alive.
We would have loved to welcome you at the MQ in Vienna to celebrate this wonderful occasion in person; however, the global COVID-19 pandemic does not allow in-person events, and we are dedicated to protecting the most vulnerable members of our community. While I am sure that we all miss the personal interactions, we are looking forward to celebrating with all of you online. On the bright side, the online format will allow us to virtually bridge the Atlantic and celebrate with all members of the Fulbright Austria community—a fitting way to commemorate the year the Fulbright bridge was established between Austria and the US.