WJU Professor Receives Fulbright Scholarship

A member of Wheeling Jesuit University’s history department is one of 500 U.S. teachers – and the first WJU faculty member – to receive funding from the Fulbright Scholars Program.

Jeff Rutherford, WJU associate professor of history, has received a substantial grant to travel to Germany next semester to undertake research for a book project.

“The funding from the Fulbright Scholars Program will allow me to conduct research for a manuscript on the German Army during the Second World War. I’m examining the activities and development of nine different divisions ­– infantry, panzer, mountain and security units – that fought in Poland, France, Yugoslavia, Italy, the Soviet Union and North Africa,” Rutherford explained.

During his trip, Rutherford will be in Freiburg where the German military archive is located.

“I will be using unit war diaries, orders and reports, as well as diaries and letters written by individual soldiers as my source material. The book’s goal is to examine the German army through the concept of total war and see how this idea influenced the army’s operations and occupation policies at the local level throughout the entirety of the war,” Rutherford said.

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Wheeling Jesuit President, Dr. Debra Townsley said, “Receiving funding from the Fulbright Scholars Program is a great honor for Jeff and for WJU. This funding will allow him to conduct research for his book – a book that will have an impact on teaching students about World War II at Wheeling Jesuit and other college campuses.”

With the support of the U.S. government and through binational partnerships with foreign governments, the Fulbright Scholarship Program sponsors U.S. and foreign participants for exchanges in all areas of endeavor, including the sciences, business, academe, public service, government and the arts and continues to increase mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and the people of other countries.

The Fulbright Program was established in 1946 under legislation introduced by then-Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas. The Fulbright Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

The Fulbright Program awards approximately 8,000 grants annually. Roughly 1,600 U.S. students, 4,000 foreign students, 1,200 U.S. scholars and 900 visiting scholars receive awards, in addition to several hundred teachers and professionals. Approximately 370,000 “Fulbrighters” have participated in the program since its inception in 1946. Currently, the Fulbright Program operates in more than 160 countries worldwide.