Page 20 - TROY Magazine Spring 2012

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TROY Magazine
When a delegation of visiting Chinese
dignitaries joined Troy University officials
in cutting the ribbon on the new home
for the University’s Confucius Institute,
the event was more than just a celebration
of the completion of construction on
the renovated Bibb Graves Hall. The
March 29 events were, more importantly,
a time to recognize the cultural bridges
being built between the State of Alabama
and China through the efforts of Troy
The Confucius Institute at TROY, part
of a network of almost 400 Confucius
Institutes around the world, was
established in 2007 for the promotion
and development of Chinese language
education, and cultural and business
exchange with the People’s Republic of
“This is a big day for Troy University,
our partner institution Hebei Normal
University of Science and Technology
and for the State of Alabama,” said Dr.
Jack Hawkins, Jr., TROY Chancellor.
Consul General Xu Erwen, whose
consulate in Houston, Texas, represents
China in 13 states, including Alabama,
commended Troy University for the
leadership it has shown through the
development of the Institute.
“I want to express my deep appreciation
to Troy University and to Chancellor
Hawkins for the leadership they have
provided in establishing this most
impressive Confucius Institute,” Xu
said. “This Institute represents a great
opportunity for cooperation between
China and the United States. Troy
University is an internationally minded
university and this dedication is an
important step in creating a bridge
between the Chinese and American
Education plays a key role in developing
relationships between different nations
and cultures, Consul General Xu said,
citing TROY’s international programs and
the more than 350 students from China
who study at the University.
“Troy University has been providing a
friendly environment to the Confucius
Institute, and helping the Center to
gradually become one the most important
platforms for teaching Chinese language
and China studies, and also a very
important gateway to reach out to China
and Chinese people,” the Consul General
said. “I am very pleased to witness the
growth of this institute.”
Since its inception, TROY’s Confucius
Institute has served more than 300
undergraduate or graduate students
through its programs, said Dr. Iris Xu, the
Institute’s director. However, she notes
the Institute’s impact has been felt well
beyond the University.
“The Confucius Institute at Troy
University works with governmental,
corporate, and educational institutions
and organizations to offer exceptional
China-related educational and community
services,” said Dr. Xu said. “Our new CIT
location has a Chinese library with over
10,000 textbooks and learning resources,
a language lab with 25 computers, and a
cultural exhibition hall which serves as a
window to invite students to see what is
happening in China.”
The 2012 Alabama-China Week activities
on the Troy Campus provided two
examples of educational partnerships that
are helping to forge understanding and
relationships between the U.S. and China.
Prior to cutting the ribbon on the
new Confucius Institute offices, Dr.
Tommy Bice, State Superintendent of
the Alabama Department of Education,
and Shuliang Guo, Deputy Director of
the Education Department of the Hebei
Province, signed a memorandum of
understanding that will clear the way for
partnerships and cultural exchanges.
“This agreement will allow for cultural
exchanges for our teachers and students,”
Dr. Bice said. “It provides a unique
opportunity for Alabama and will allow
our students to be exposed not only to
the Chinese language but also to China’s
rich history and culture. This partnership
will enable our students to become more
globally aware. I am grateful to Troy
University for its international focus and
what that means for all Alabamians.”
The following day, the TROY’s
Confucius Institute officially recognized
partnerships with two Alabama schools
Building Bridges
New office of TROY’s Confucius Institute dedicated
ByAndy Ellis