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President Obama celebrates 60 years of the Fulbright program in Indonesia

I send greetings to all those celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Fulbright Program in Indonesia and the 20th anniversary of the American Indonesian Exchange Foundation. I congratulate the Indonesian government, the members of the American Indonesian Exchange Foundation, and the many Fulbright alumni whose commitment has fostered cooperation between our two countries.

Senator J. William Fulbright recognized that, after World War II, educational exchanges would serve as a powerful tool for promoting peace and friendship among nations.  His vision became the Fulbright Program, which has lived up to this ambitious aspiration to forge strong bonds between the people of the United States and people in countries around the world.

In Indonesia, the Fulbright Program has strengthened ties between our countries that are based on mutual understanding and respect. Since 1952, Indonesia scholars have participated in the Fulbright Program, learning and teaching in the United States.  The Program has provided Americans similar opportunities to experience Indonesia and its people firsthand.  The time I spent in Indonesia as a child left me with lasting memories and a special regard for the Indonesian people.  I trust this sentiment is shared by the many Americas who have participated in this program.

As we celebrate 60 years of success, we look forward to the continued vitality of the Fulbright Program across the globe.  Our need to vigorously pursue Senator Fulbright’s vision has not diminished.  Rather, its importance has increased; today’s global challenges are increasingly complex, requiring sustained cooperation. In celebration of the Fulbright Program, we reaffirm its purpose of helping create a world for our children that is more secure, prosperous, and free.

Congratulations, again, on this special milestone.

Barack Obama