On Friday, November 29, our year-long celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Fulbright Program in Poland came to a close with the Jubilee Gala held in the ballroom of Warsaw’s Sofitel-Victoria. Among the nearly 200 guests who participated in the event were alumni and friends of the Program. It was an evening filled with music, art, lights and most importantly human connections – a chance for everyone to celebrate the undying spirit of the Fulbright community in Poland.
In the last 60 years, the Fulbright Program has allowed over 3000 Poles to pursue their research in the U.S., while around 2000 Americans have had a chance to come to Poland and engage in collaborations with Polish institutions of higher education. All of the Program’s alumni speak in unison when they say that the Fulbright grant has changed their lives and impacted the development of their careers. A tight network of connections – both professional and personal – established during the Fulbright grant makes it clear that the Program opens many doors and keeps its participants inspired for years to come.
It [the Fulbright Program] opened up great opportunities for me to grow as a person. I came here first in 2005 as a Fulbright Scholar and since then I have been 100 percent involved. What I learned from Polish people is to be proud of where you come from.
– Stan Breckenridge. Fulbright Program alumnus
The official part of the evening included remarks by Dr. Anna Budzanowska, General Director at the Ministry of Science and Higher Education and a member of the Board of Directors of the Polish-U.S. Fulbright Commission, and B. Bix Aliu, Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of the United States.
The musical part of the evening comprised performances by our alumni: Magdalena Sas, Michael Poll and Nikodem Wojciechowski, accompanied by Kwartet Polonika. Their musical compositions were arranged by Przemysław Zych.
We had the pleasure to listen to i.e:
- Cello Concerto in A minor, Op. 129, part II Langsam by Robert Schuman
- Concierto de Aranjuez, part II Adagio by Joaquin Rodrigo
- Piano concert in E minor op. 11, part II Romance (Larghetto) by Fryderyk Chopin
- Night Club 1960 and Cafe 1930 from the cycle “Histoire du Tango” by Astor Piazzolla
Fulbright Poland alumnus, Stan Breckenridge with his Stan Breckenridge Quartet: Jarosław Kaczmarczyk – saxophone, Teofil Lisiecki – double bass and Krzysztof Dziedzic – percussion invited our guests on a journey across the USA by performing songs, such as:
- Let the Good Times Roll (Sam Theard, Billy Strayhorn)
- Take the A Train (Billy Strayhorn)
- Georgia On My Mind (Hoagy Carmichael)
- Stand by Me (Jerry Leibera i Mike Stoller)
- Ain’t No Sunshine (Bill Whiters)
- What a Wonderful World (Boba Thiele i George David).
The Quartet’s repertoire also included a song titled Waterfall composed by Stan Breckenridge.
Leaving for the U.S. with the Fulbright Program was a life-changing experience. I came back as a completely different person in a very positive understanding of this term.
-Dr hab. N. med. Marek Postuła, Fulbright Program alumnus