TROY - Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., Chancellor of Troy University, was one of nine university chancellors worldwide and the only one in North America to receive the World Confucius Institute's Individual Performance Excellence Award during the World Confucius Institute Conference in Xiamen, China.
The annual conference celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Confucius Institute program, designed to promote Chinese language education and cultural awareness, and honored outstanding contributions in both Confucius Institute of the Year awards and outstanding individual performances.
Dr. Hawkins received the award from Liu Yandong, Vice Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China on behalf of the CI headquarters in Beijing. There are currently 475 Confucius Institutes worldwide, including 120 in the United States.
"At Troy University, we have made a commitment to ensure that our students are prepared to live, think and act globally," Dr. Hawkins said. "The Confucius Institute at TROY is enabling our students and the people of Alabama to become familiar with the Chinese language, history and culture and is providing an economic development component that is enabling business leaders within the state to connect with and create relationships with their counterparts in China."
Dr. Iris Xu, director of the Confucius Institute at Troy University, said the success enjoyed by the Institute is due in large measure to Dr. Hawkins' vision and importance he places on internationalization.
"Dr. Hawkins understands the role played by Confucius Institutes in strengthening the mutual understanding and improving cooperation between China and the United States," Dr. Xu said. "He was instrumental in the establishment of the Confucius Institute at TROY in 2007. Under his leadership, TROY's Confucius Institute was among the few to receive the Confucius Institute of the Year in 2012."
Established in 2007, the Confucius Institute at Troy University has offices on the University's Troy, Montgomery and Dothan campuses. In addition to its language and cultural programs, TROY's Confucius Institute plays a role in economic development and has organized more than 17 trips to China for Alabamians, including government and business leaders, educators, performance groups and university and high schools students.
Since its inception, TROY's Confucius Institute has assisted school districts throughout the state and partners with Loveless Academic Magnet High School in Montgomery as a part of the Confucius Classroom project. The Institute has organized nearly 100 language and culture workshops and has collaborated with the University's College of Education to secure nearly $500,000 in federal funding to host annual STARTALK intensive workshops for Chinese language teachers and high school students. Students and teachers from more than 22 states have attended the annual STARTALK summer workshops. The Institute has also organized two Alabama-China Forums, attracting more than 1,000 participants.
Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., Chancellor of Troy University, receives the World Confucius Institute's Individual Performance Excellence Award from Liu Yandong, Vice Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China on behalf of the CI headquarters in Beijing. The award was presented during the World Confucius Institute Conference in Xiamen, China. Dr. Hawkins was one of nine university chancellors worldwide and the only one in North America to receive the award.