On Tuesday, May 20, Lees-McRae welcomed a small delegation of Chinese educators from Langfang Foreign Language School who inaugurated a Chinese Culture Center in the James H. Carson Library on the College’s campus.
A small ceremony was held in Carson Library during which Lees-McRae President Barry M. Buxton and Langfang Foreign Language School Principal Xu Yonghui signed an agreement officially inaugurating the center. Faculty and staff were present for the event as well as Avery County Schools Superintendent David Burleson and Dr. Jensen Jen, a friend of the College who lives locally and has been instrumental in the establishment of the College’s Chinese relationships.
In March 2014, President Buxton, Director of International Programs Dr. Marv Williamsen and Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Kacy Crabtree traveled to China and signed cooperative agreements with four Chinese institutions, including Langfang Foreign Language School. During their travels, the group met with university presidents, high school principals and Ministry of Education officials to discuss strategies for Chinese students to enroll at Lees-McRae.
As part of these relationships, the Chinese Culture Center will provide educational services and programs for Lees-McRae College and for local citizens and organizations. College and public school students and local citizens will have access to a variety of classes in Mandarin to prepare for further study or for short-term trips to the Far East. Workshops, informal classes, discussion groups and other activities will offer the chance to learn more about China’s immense history and fascinating cultural evolution in modern times. The Center in Carson Library is already being filled with donated Chinese artifacts including a rare scroll artwork from Mr. Xu Zhiqiang, the general manager of Oriental University City in China.
As part of the Center’s programming, Lees-McRae is hopeful there will be opportunities for Avery County students to audit Mandarin classes and learn more about Chinese history and culture.
International students representing ten countries are currently enrolled at Lees-McRae. In addition, the College offers a variety of global education programs including exchange programs through Hanaam University in South Korea, faculty-led academic trips to New Zealand, Belize and London, and independent study abroad programs through affiliation agreements with five international education agencies. An annual study abroad fair is also held to educate students on the opportunities available to them.
For more information about the Chinese Culture Center at Lees-McRae College, please contact Dr. Williamsen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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