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Three Furman seniors receive Fulbright grants

Last updated April 24, 2017

By Tina Underwood

Three 2017 Furman University graduating seniors have received Fulbright U.S. Student Program grants from the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

The seniors are among over 1,900 U.S. citizens who will teach, conduct research, and provide expertise abroad for the 2017-2018 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected based on academic and professional achievement as well as record of service and demonstrated leadership in their respective fields.

The recipients are:

Nathan Mathai (Plano, Texas). Mathai is completing an Accounting major at Furman. With the grant from the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, he will serve as an English Teaching Assistant in Malaysia. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Mathai of Plano, Texas.

Emily Matthews (Spring City, Tenn.). Matthews is a German Studies/English double major with teacher certification from Spring City, Tenn. She has received a Fulbright grant to be an English Teaching Assistant in Germany. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. S. Franklin Matthews, Jr. of Spring City, Tenn.

Michael Robinson (Greensboro, N.C.). Robinson is a Spanish and Sustainability Science double major. He has received a Fulbright grant to serve as an English Teaching Assistant in Colombia. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. John M. Robinson of Greensboro, N.C.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to build relations between the people of the United States and the people of other countries that are needed to solve global challenges. The Fulbright Program is funded through an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations, and foundations around the world also provide direct and indirect support to the Program, which operates in over 160 countries worldwide.

This year marks the 71st anniversary of the Fulbright Program’s establishment in 1946 under legislation introduced by U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas. Since then, the Program has given more than 370,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, and scientists the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

Fulbrighters address critical global challenges – from sustainable energy and climate change to public health and food security – in all areas, while building relationships, knowledge, and leadership in support of the long-term interests of the United States and the world. Fulbright alumni have achieved distinction in many fields, including 57 who have been awarded the Nobel Prize, 82 who have received the Pulitzer Prize, and 37 who have served as a head of state or government.

Fulbright recipients are among over 50,000 individuals participating in U.S. Department of State exchange programs each year. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is administered by the Institute of International Education.

For further information about the Fulbright Program or the U.S. Department of State, visit, or contact the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Press Office at 202-632-6452 or e-mail

For further information about the Furman honorees, contact the Furman News and Media Relations office at 864-294-3107.


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