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Cultural performances, special guests and more set for grand opening April 7 of Kansas State University's Confucius Institute

Monday, March 30, 2015


MANHATTAN — A grand opening ceremony and activities highlighting Chinese culture will mark the official launch of the Kansas State University Confucius Institute on Tuesday, April 7.

The celebration will be from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the K-State Alumni Center, with most events open to the public. Attending will be a delegation of Chinese dignitaries from Jilin University and the Chinese Consulate in Chicago, said Max Lu, interim director of the Kansas State University Confucius Institute. Jilin University, a leading national research university in northeast China, is Kansas State University's Chinese partner for the institute. For the past 10 years, the two universities have been conducting extensive academic exchange activities in the arts, engineering, agriculture and veterinary medicine.

The Confucius Institute at Kansas State University will be the 102nd in the U.S. and the second Confucius Institute in Kansas.

"Confucius Institutes promote, enhance and elevate understanding of the Chinese language and culture, as well as create exchanges between Chinese and U.S. academic institutions and communities," Lu said. "The K-State institute also will promote research collaborations in animal health and food safety. All of these activities will help us meet the internationalization goals outlined in the K-State 2025 plan to be a Top 50 public research university."

The public is welcome to attend the following events, all at the Alumni Center, but RSVPs are requested by emailing confucius@k-state.edu and including your name and the name of the events you wish to attend.

• A presentation by Steven Wade, an executive with Boeing, from 11-11:30 a.m. Wade will discuss how Boeing gained a greater understanding of the Chinese culture in order to establish long-standing business ties.

• The formal opening ceremony, including the unveiling of official plaques and remarks by Kirk Schulz, university president; April Mason, provost and senior vice president; Marcelo Sabates, associate vice provost for international programs; Lu; and others, from 1:30-2:30 p.m.

• The panel discussion on "The Role of Confucius Institutes in the U.S.," with participants Sheree Willis, director of the University of Kansas Confucius Institute; Deborah Trott Pierce, director of the Webster University Confucius Institute; and Joan Brzezinski, director of the University of Minnesota Confucius Institute, from 2:30-3:30 p.m.

• The scholarly presentation "Confucius: The Man, His Ideas and their Enduring Significance" by David Graff, professor of history at Kansas State University, from 3:45-5 p.m. Graff has written and co-edited several books and journals on Chinese military history.

• The Chinese cultural performance and talent show "The Sound and Color of China — A Cultural Celebration" at 7 p.m.

"This gala event will feature a number of Chinese folk and pop songs, as well as three Chinese folk dances: Yi, Tibetan and the peacock dances," Lu said. "We will also have traditional Chinese music played by the guzheng, which is a Chinese plucked zither; tai chi demonstration; and an exquisite Chinese fashion show. The performers include K-State students and scholars, as well as members of the Leyue Performing Arts group of Kansas City. It will be an opportunity for the audience to experience the wonder of authentic Chinese culture."

In conjunction with the grand opening, K-State Libraries is organizing a Chinese book display and the K-State Student Union will showcase Chinese crafts, arts and textiles in display cases during the institute's grand opening week, April 6-10.

The Kansas State University Confucius Institute will be on the second floor of Wildcat Landing, 1800 Claflin Road, adjacent to the International Technology Commons. The university signed an agreement with Hanban, the worldwide headquarters of Confucius Institutes, which is affiliated with the Chinese Ministry of Education, to establish the institute.

For more information about the university's Confucius Institute and grand opening activities, contact confucius@k-state.edu.


Max Lu

Written by

Beth Bohn

At a glance

Kansas State University will celebrate the grand opening of its Confucius Institute with a variety of activities from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 7, at the K-State Alumni Center.