Honorary Degree: Harriet Mayor Fulbright
Citation presented by Jeremy R. Ball, Associate Professor of History
Conferring of the degree by President William G. Durden '71
Harriet Mayor Fulbright
Harriet Mayor Fulbright, we honor you today for your work to promote global education and for your example of public service.
Global understanding and education have always been at the center of your distinguished career. You graduated from Radcliffe College with a bachelor of arts and earned a master of fine arts from the George Washington University. You held your first positions while living abroad with your family in Korea and the Soviet Union, where you taught English to second-language learners. Upon returning to the United States, you began teaching art in a variety of contexts, from American University to the prestigious Maret School, where you were named Teacher of the Year in 1980.
After a distinguished twenty-three-year career as an educator, you brought your experience and leadership to the sphere of public service, first serving as the assistant director of the Congressional Arts Caucus and later as the Chairman of the International Child Art Foundation in Washington DC. In 1997, President Clinton appointed you executive director of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities in recognition of your efforts to reform education and to integrate the arts into formal curricula.
As the wife of the late Senator J. William Fulbright, you have also had a long and distinguished association with the Fulbright Program, which seeks to promote “international good will through the exchange of students in the fields of education, culture, and science.” Since President Truman signed the Fulbright Act into law in 1946, approximately 300,000 students and teachers—114,000 from the U.S. and 186,000 from other countries—have participated in the program. As the U.S. government’s flagship international exchange program, the Fulbright Program works to increase mutual understanding between Americans and the people of other countries. It is this mission that you champion in your current position as President of the J. William and Harriet Fulbright Center.
Dickinson College shares your commitment to these noble goals and the importance of global engagement. You once described the power of international education as follows: “Seeing and hearing through the eyes and ears of another [requires] learning [another] point of view. It is the difference between looking through a keyhole and walking through an open door for the whole view.” At Dickinson, we also recognize the power of learning about other cultures first hand. Roughly 60 percent of our students study abroad during their college experience, most recently at 40 programs located in 24 countries on six continents. In this graduating class before you today, we are also proud to announce that three women will join the ranks of our 171 distinguished Dickinson Fulbright scholars. Sarah Brnich, a double biochemistry/molecular biology and Spanish major, will travel to Buenos Aires on a research grant to investigate the molecular profiles of Argentine women suffering from breast cancer while her classmate, Kathryn McNamara, an international studies major, will travel to Indonesia to teach English as a Fulbright fellow. Anum Khan, a middle east studies major, will study for a master’s degree in gender and women’s studies in Cairo, Egypt. These young women represent the best of America and Dickinson College, and thanks to the Fulbright Program they will contribute to mutual understanding among nations.
Mr. President, for her commitment to education—at home and abroad—and for her passionate advocacy for the arts, it is my honor to present to you Harriet Mayor Fulbright for the honorary degree of Doctor of Global Education.
Harriet Mayor Fulbright, upon the recommendation of the Faculty to the Board of Trustees, and by its mandamus, I confer upon you the Degree of Doctor of Global Education, honoris causa, with all the rights, privileges, and distinction thereunto appertaining, in token of which I present you with this diploma and cause you to be invested with the hood of Dickinson College appropriate to the degree.