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Fulbright Alumni Association Belgium

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About FAAB

Mission

The objectives are:  to maintain contact with the U.S.A., to welcome and assist American grantees to maintain contacts with each other and become a network of friendships across the world.

A "national event" is held every year and several local events take place annually in the chapters. A great variety of events have been organized according to the circumstances and the inspiration of the national and local officers: academic meeting at the Palace Hotel with a speech delivered by a prominent American guest, a real "Far West Party", square dances at the Embassy, a competition among alumni photographers, a panel presentation of the play "Who is Afraid of Virginia Woolf", a Study Day on "The Greening of America", a symposium on Recurrent Education, picnics, visits of old abbeys. The "national events" first held in Brussels have moved all over the country and are recognized to be for most of us unique opportunities to visit our country.

 

History

The association was founded in 1952 on a rather informal basis. Quickly local chapters came into being and their representatives made up the National Committee. Each alumnus or alumna was requested to choose affiliation to a chapter: Antwerp, Brussels, Flanders, Hainaut, Leuven, Liège, Limburg, Louvain-la-Neuve, or Namur. Actually organized in 1955 as a de facto association, it defined its objectives, edited a bulletin, drew its symbol - the Mayflower - and collected annual dues.

 

Exceptional Events

 

1958

In a very emotional ceremony, the 10th anniversary of the Fulbright Act was celebrated in the presence of the rectors of all our universities, several ministers and Senator Fulbright himself.

1968

The 20th anniversary of the Program was commemorated in the Royal Library, in the presence of the King. Mrs. Deflandre was honored by all three governments involved in the exchange.

1973

For the 25th anniversary we discovered Louvain-la-Neuve, where a symposium on "Recurrent Education" generated great interest.

1978

Two memorable events: in May, the King and the Queen received more than 500 alumni in the greenhouses of Laeken. In October, in Antwerp, were celebrated together the 30th anniversary of the Program and the retirement of Mrs. Deflandre, after more than 25 years of remarkable service.

1983

For the 35th anniversary, an international panel on "U.S. - European Relations" was held at the Brussels Congress Palace.

1988

The association celebrated its 40th anniversary with an academic session held at the Egmont Palace and a gala dinner at the La Hulpe Castle. The King received members of the National Committee at the Royal Palace in Brussels.

1993

The association celebrated its 45th anniversary with a two-day program held in Brussels, to which representatives of Fulbright Alumni Association from France, Germany, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Macedonia, Poland, Romania and Slovenia. This international conference drew a large number of participants from all over Europe.

1998

The Association celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Fulbright Program in Belgium and Luxembourg with several events in Belgium and Luxembourg.

2002

The Association celebrated its own 50th anniversary with a reception at the Royal Palace and a gala dinner at the St. Anne Castle.

2008

The Commission and the Association celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Fulbright Program with an academic session at the Palais des Académies/Paleis der Academiën on October 18th and a gala dinner on November 15th at the Cercle de Lorraine/Club der Lotharingen. There was also a concert at the residence of the U.S. Ambassador with Fulbright alumnus and 2007 Queen Elisabeth finalist, Liebrecht Vanbeckevoort, on October 8th, the date of signature of the first Agreement establishing the Fulbright Program in Belgium and Luxembourg.

2014

A group of Fulbright grantees and alumni was invited to attend a speech given by U.S. President Barack Obama at BOZAR in Brussels.

 

Accomplishments

 

Almost 50 years later, it is amazing to consider all that has been accomplished in the spirit of the Program. Along with the yearly traditional activities organized by the local chapters and the National Committee, in order to welcome and assist the US grantees and to maintain contacts with the USA and the alumni, let us mention:

  • several lectures, given first at the U.S. Embassy and later at the American Library
  • the bulletin called "The Tattler", which was published for about 12 years until 1966 and which was welcomed by the first generation of Alumni. It has since been replaced by a Newsletter, issued twice a year by the Commission for Educational Exchange between the U.S.A., Belgium and Luxembourg.
  • European meetings of Alumni Associations, which gathered for the first time in Brussels in 1960 on our initiative and then in Paris, Bonn, Athens and for the last time in Brussels in 1993.
  • A directory of all American, Belgian and Luxembourg grantees published in 1958 for the 10th anniversary of the Fulbright Program.
  • A second directory appeared in 1986 and listed 1,434 Belgian alumni of the Fulbright Program.
  • A new directory was published in October 1998 for the 50th anniversary.
  • The Fulbright Alumni Scholarship-loan Fund set up in 1965 and still active is one of our best early realizations and certainly the most dedicated to the spirit of the Fulbright Program. Around 30 of us have been sent to the States thanks to this wonderful fund. This Scholarship support has been re-enforced by the Foundation for Scientific Research and Educational Exchange established in 1980. Its purpose is to extend scholarships in order to promote post-university study and research in all scientific and educational fields of interest to the three countries. It is financed every year more successfully through an Annual Thanksgiving Fund Drive.
  • The creation of the Dorothy Deflandre Endowment Fund in 1990, in memory of the Fulbright Commission's first and most active Executive Director.

It must finally be emphasized that all these activities have been possible and successful thanks to the most precious assistance received from the executive officers of the Commission for Educational Exchange and from the members of the Board.

 

Current National Committee Members

Current President

Ms. Salomé Cisnal de Ugarté
Avenue des Statuaires 120
B-1180 Brussels
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Vice-President and Treasurer

Mr. Gilles Moreau
Rue Noël 68
B-1410 Waterloo
Tel.: 02/385.39.99
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National Secretary

Ms. Erica Lutes
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Scholarship Committee

Mr. Michel Kohner
6 rue de Kiem
L-8030 Strassen
Tel.: 00-352/621.168.559
Tel.: 00-352/31.24.12

Past President

Mr. Frédéric Papeians de Morchoven
Avenue de l’Hippodrome 1
B-1050 Brussels
Tel.: 02/672.35.11
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Past Presidents

2012    Dr. Jan Rosier (Flanders)

2008    Mr. Frédéric Papeians de Morchoven (Brussels)

2004    Mr. Roger De Bruyne (Flanders)

1999    Dr. Alain Piette (South Belgium)

1996    Mr. Rudi Schollaert (Flanders)

1992    Dr. Eliane Van Stichel (Brussels)

1990    Mr. Camille Romus (Liège)

1986    Mr. Jacques Bourgeois (Flanders)

1982    Mr. Ronald De Groote (Brussels)

1980    Mr. Michel Beuthe (Hainaut)

1978    Mr. Marc Huybrechts (Antwerp)

1976    Mr. Armand Carlier (Hainaut)

1974    Mr. Willem Rycken (Brussels)

1972    Ms. Mariette Delahaut (Namur)

1969    Mr. Paul Eeckman (Flanders)

1965    Mr. Daniel Godfrind (Brussels)

1962    Mr. Gilbert de Landsheere (Liège)

1961    Mr. Joseph J. Hoet (Louvain)

1959    Mr. Pierre-Paul Heymans (Antwerp)

1955    Mr. A. De Vreese (Flanders)

1952    Mr. Jan Smekens (Flanders)

 

Luxembourg Alumni Association

An association of Luxembourg Fulbright alumni and other alumni of American universities was set up in 1954. Many of its members have participated in our activities and close contacts have always been kept with our southern brothers and sisters.