May 2, 2018

“Fulbright Appeals to Me Tremendously”

May 2, 2018

Dr. Kim Bottomly, Chair of the Fulbright University Vietnam Board of Trustees, talked about how fortunate she felt to be involved with Fulbright describing it as fascinating and something that appealed to her tremendously.It’s a fascinating story from my point of view. Late in my presidency at Wellesley College, I met an alum whose husband worked in Hong Kong who had been involved in this effort to create a new university in Vietnam…

…Through that connection, I was visited by a couple of people who are now on the board of trustees at Fulbright. Eventually, President Thuy herself came to talk to me. Mostly to talk about what does good undergraduate education look like from my perspective.

At the time, I was at Wellesley, it is a very highly ranked liberal arts college. We think of ourselves as specializing in undergraduate education. It was a wonderful time to just talk about what makes an undergraduate feel like they are receiving a great education on campus. That’s where it all began…

…I just kept up contact with these individuals. As I heard more and more about Fulbright, the more interested I got. The more exciting it seemed as a wonderful thing to do…

The other thing that was really interesting about it, they weren’t really interested in starting a school that was exactly like an American school, which is a wonderful educational system, but were thinking of innovating and creating the best possible experience for undergraduates. That appealed to me tremendously. It all started there,” Dr. Bottomly said.