Wheaton College among top producers of Fulbright students

Recognition reflects commitment to providing opportunities for global connections

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs has recognized Wheaton College as one of the U.S. colleges and universities with the highest number of students selected for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.

An announcement released today, Feb. 13, 2024, noted that “Fulbright Top Producing Institutions like Wheaton value global connection and support members of their campus communities to pursue international opportunities.”

Since 2000, more than 100 Wheaton students and graduates have won Fulbright awards, taking them to Germany, Mongolia, Serbia, Turkey and many other places around the world. Two Wheaton College students and two alums earned Fulbright awards for the 2023–24  academic year.

Wheaton has been recognized as one of the top colleges for students winning Fulbright Scholarships more than 10 times. That success reflects the college’s commitment to connecting students with grants and fellowships—from the Rhodes and Marshall to the Watson fellowship—that support advanced, often international, study.

The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international academic exchange program. Since 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 400,000 talented and accomplished students, scholars, teachers, artists and professionals of all backgrounds with the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research abroad. Fulbright recipients exchange ideas, build connections and work to address complex global challenges.

“The Wheaton community commends our faculty who guide and support students through their application process. We anticipate the impact our Fulbright scholars will have abroad and recognize the new knowledge, skills and experience they will bring back to their communities when they complete their scholarship year,” said President Michaele Whelan.

“The Fulbright program culminates the opportunities for global study and intercultural learning that begin with Wheaton’s first-year study abroad program WheaGo Global and are woven throughout Global Honors and the college’s curriculum,” she said.

Students and alums at Wheaton who want to apply for national and international fellowships and scholarships receive encouragement, guidance, mentoring and support from the Scholar Development Advisory Committee (SDAC). Current committee members include professors Laura Bohn Case, Angie Sarhan Salvatore and Winter Werner, and Susan Friedman, a success advisor, and Alida Gomez, associate director of the Center for Global Education.

“The Scholar Development Advisory Committee is committed to guiding students toward transformative international experiences,” said Werner, associate professor of English. “We know from our past Fulbright Scholars that the Fulbright year isn’t just a chance to travel abroad; it’s a meaningful step toward personal and professional growth, enriching students’ lives by giving them a truly global perspective.”

“Our faculty and students are globally oriented, driven to think about how we can face world challenges today. From start to finish, the SDAC assists our Wheaton Fulbright applicants in aligning their knowledge and interests with the program,” Werner said. “We help them with essay writing, conduct mock interviews and take pride in seeing our students thrive globally. It’s what makes our work so rewarding.”

Fulbright officials note that program alumni have included heads of state or government, Nobel Laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, MacArthur Fellows, and countless leaders and changemakers who build mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.

“Fulbright’s Top Producing Institutions represent the diversity of America’s higher education community. Dedicated administrators support students and scholars at these institutions to fulfill their potential and rise to address tomorrow’s global challenges. We congratulate them, and all the Fulbrighters who are making an impact the world over,” said Lee Satterfield, assistant secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs, in the media release.