AAMU Confucius Institute Holds Grand Opening
AAMU’s Confucius Institute Held
Grand Opening Celebration on April 16, 2015
Featuring Professional Artistic Direction from China
Performances by Students from Alabama A&M University, University of Alabama Huntsville and Providence Elementary School
- Beautiful Chinese Folk Songs -
See Event PHOTOS
Huntsville, Ala. ---- The festive grand opening celebration of the Confucius Institute at 140-year-old Alabama A&M University was held Thursday, April 16, at the Von Braun Center East Hall at 6 p.m. Organizers planned for and welcomed more than 500 people who were able to register for free at AAMU’s website. The event was hosted by AAMU and Nanjing Forestry University of China.
According to Dr. Lloyd Walker, AAMU dean of the College of Agricultural, Life and Natural Sciences, the celebration featured a large opening show with a great deal of Chinese pageantry and artistry, entertainment and performances from China and the U.S. The program was further facilitated by professionals from China, who assisted with planning and staging the celebration, working in tune with nearly a dozen campus committees.
The Confucius Institute-Alabama A&M University Confucius Institute (CIAAMU) is the result of six years of coordination between AAMU and its Chinese partner institution, Nanjing Forestry University, evolving from a program that provided for meaningful student/faculty exchange research opportunities.
Confucius Institutes collectively promote and teach Chinese culture and language around the world. They develop Chinese language courses, train teachers for teaching Chinese, and provide information about contemporary China. On the economic front, Cis facilitate business operations between USA and China. Today, the Chinese economy represents the second largest in the world; second only to the United States.
Additionally, China is also an important market for many large United States companies, given it’s one of the largest populations in the world. Further, there are many U.S. companies with a presence in China, such as AT&T, Dell, Apple, Ford, GM, Nike, Johnson and Johnson, Sam’s Club, Walmart etc.
There is also a significant Chinese investment in the United States. Currently the Chinese investment in the U.S. exceeds $43 billion. Right here in Alabama, the investment exceeds $301 million. With the opening of the Golden Dragon Copper Tubing Plant in Wilcox County, and the 3D Printer Factory in Dothan, Alabama, Bloomberg calls Alabama “the new hub of Chinese manufacturing.”
As AAMU continues to prepare its students for the globally competitive world of the 21st Century, the Confucius Institute at AAMU will provide a platform for addressing the strategic goal of internationalizing the curricula to be responsive to current and emerging needs. There is a high probability that some graduates from AAMU will take positions with one of the U.S. companies in China, and the University wants to be sure that they are prepared.
The Institute also addresses university’s service mission by providing programs and services to the larger community about Chinese language and culture. CIAAMU currently offers courses such as Introductory Chinese, Chinese Writing, and History and Culture of China to students and greater Huntsville. It is planning for more cultural, educational, and business related exchange programs in the near future.
With the establishment of CIAAMU, Alabama A&M University joins an elite group of universities worldwide in having a Confucius Institute. The first Confucius Institute opened in South Korea in 2004. Today, there are 475 Confucius Institutes in dozens of countries on six continents. Of the 4600 colleges and universities in the United States, only 107 have Confucius Institutes, with Alabama A&M being the 107th. The CIAAMU is one of four at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the nation, and one of three in Alabama.
The success of this initiative was contributed to by many parties in addition to the leadership and staff at AAMU and Nanjing Forestry University, including the City of Huntsville, the Madison County Commission, Huntsville-Madison County Chamber of Commerce, Huntsville Chinese Association, International Service Council of Alabama, Auburn University, the Confucius Institute Headquarters, and the Chinese Embassy in USA.
PHOTOS from Grand Celebration