Dirksens Represent Lee University At Henan Centennial

Thursday, November 15, 2012
Murl and Carolyn Dirksen pose in front of a backdrop of institutions participating in the centennial celebration of Henan University.
Murl and Carolyn Dirksen pose in front of a backdrop of institutions participating in the centennial celebration of Henan University.

Drs. Carolyn and Murl Dirksen were guests at the centennial of Henan University in Kaifeng, China, earlier this fall. 

While there, they represented Lee University at a convention of two international higher education groups at SIAS University in Xinzheng, which is also in the Henan province. The gathering there, of the International Association of Universities and the Association of Universities in Asia and the Pacific, conducted business and then went as an honored delegation to the centennial celebration.

“It was amazing,” said Dr. Carolyn Dirksen, who is vice president for Academic Affairs at Lee, and also an honorary professor at Henan University. “They stopped traffic in a city of five million people so our bus could get to the ceremony.”

The Dirksens spent a year teaching English at Henan University through the English Language Institute in 1984 and began a relationship with the institution that has been developing ever since. 

She said of their original work there, “It was really one of the first exchange relationships between a university in the U.S. – particularly a Christian university – and a university in China. This country and its people, especially those we worked with at these two colleges, have held a special place in our hearts since then.”

In the recent ceremonies, the Dirksens received honor as official delegates but also as old friends; in turn they honored the host school celebrating one hundred years. As official Lee representatives, they presented a crystal flame as a congratulatory gift to Henan University’s president, Lou Yuangong.

"We were blown away by how spectacular the celebration was and by the feeling of welcome. It was inspiring,” Dr. Dirksen said.

Centennials being rare, Henan had reason to pull out all the stops.  Lee University will celebrate the same milestone in five years.  

Originally founded to train Chinese scholars to study abroad, Henan University began teaching Chinese as a second language in 1985. Since then, more than 3,000 overseas students have been admitted. Going back as far as 1986, students from Lee have studied at Henan University as part of Lee’s exchange, and Lee graduate Callie Smith, is currently teaching there.  Lee is also hosting a student from Henan, Yan Wei.

Presently, Henan University maintains 11 branches of learning: liberal arts, science, engineering, economics, management, law, philosophy, education, history, agriculture and medicine. It consists of 26 schools and teaching departments. 

SIAS International University is located in Xinzheng, a suburb of Zhengzhou in Henan Province. Founded with less than $2 million, it has grown from 250 students to 16,000 students, many of whom say they chose SIAS because of the American-style campus life. 

PHOTOS:  

Carolyn Dirksen presents President Lou Yuangong of Henan University with a crystal flame as a token of congratulations from Lee University.
Carolyn Dirksen presents President Lou Yuangong of Henan University with a crystal flame as a token of congratulations from Lee University.


Sale Creek School Students Are Ready For Eclipse 2017

Two International Automotive Components (IAC) Group employees dropped by Sale Creek Middle High School Friday to deliver solar eclipse glasses and Moon Pies to every student in the school. IAC Group is an automotive supplier with a plant in Dayton.  Human Resources Manager Jim Barrie and HR Assistant Kadie Bodden packaged the glasses and Moon Pies together, and then ... (click for more)

Convocation Opens McCallie 2017-18 School Year

McCallie School’s student body and faculty gathered on the Spencer J. McCallie III Quadrangle to begin the 2017-18 school year.  Headmaster Lee Burns ’87 opened the Convocation ceremony by reminding the student body of the value of McCallie and the importance of shared values. He encouraged the boys to take risks during the coming school year and stretch themselves academically, ... (click for more)

City Seeks To Be Removed As Trustee Of Confederate Cemetery

Mayor Andy Berke on Friday said he has asked City Attorney Wade Hinton, on behalf of the city of Chattanooga, to file the necessary paperwork "to confirm the city is no longer listed as a trustee of a Confederate Cemetery on East Third Street." Mayor Berke said, “Our action today makes it clear that the city of Chattanooga condemns white supremacy in every way, shape and ... (click for more)

1 Killed When Train Hits Car At Hamill Road Crossing In Hixson

There was a fatality when a train struck a car in Hixson on Friday night. The incident happened shortly before 6 p.m. at the Hamill Road crossing. Neighbors said they heard a loud noise. (click for more)

Mayor Invites Civil War II - And Response (7)

I just received an email from the Mayor stating that he filed paperwork to remove the city of Chattanooga as the trustee for the Confederate Cemetery on Third Street. I understand the Mayor's intent was to distance the city from it's racist past and subsequent hate, but I feel like this is an interesting move without much thought of the consequences. The Mayor prefaced his ... (click for more)

Confronting Racism In Public Education

Like most Americans, we have been bothered by the news in recent days. And as we have struggled to understand the racial issues that continue to confront our nation, we are left to ponder the issue even more within the context of public education.  The vast majority of Americans know that racism is wrong. It is one of the few issues on which almost everyone can agree. We ... (click for more)