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.

Cleveland State Employees Receive In-Service Awards

Two Cleveland State Community College employees received awards at a staff in-service.   Emily Hill received the Rising Star Award, while Sheila Smith received the Excellence Award.  The Rising Star Award goes to an employee who has less than three years and a minimum of six months of service to CSCC, displays a positive attitude and a spirit of enthusiasm, ... (click for more)

Lee's Summer Honors Program Has Record Attendance

Lee University’s Summer Honors residential program concluded another two-week term, exposing high-achieving students to numerous aspects of college life at Lee.  This year’s Summer Honors drew 173 students to Lee’s campus, an all-time record for attendance.   While at Summer Honors, students got a head start on their college career by earning six hours of academic ... (click for more)

Muslim Advocacy Group Questions House Arrest For Signal Mountain Man Charged In Threats Against Muslim Village In New York

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, on Saturday questioned the release of a Signal Mountain man who admitted to planning what it called "a Charleston-style terror attack" on a Muslim community in New York. CAIR also called for stepped up protection for the community targeted in the plot. Judge ... (click for more)

Plumbers Bring Complaints To WWTA; Told New Contracts Are Ready

Several plumbers on Thursday brought complaints to a committee of the Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority (WWTA) and got little response other than being told that new contracts are ready. Kay Keefe of Keefe Plumbing said the small number of plumbing companies still participating in the program to repair leaky lines to homes, have long been operating without ... (click for more)

Could The Marriage Decision Spark A New Independence Day?

I confess that this year I am having a hard time with the idea of celebrating the 4th of July Independence Day. It is not because I am not thankful to God for what was done on that day, what it represents, and the blessings I’ve experienced that flow from it. On the other hand, I want to think that maybe this year’s celebration will mark a period in our history in which a new movement ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Dr. Tydings Is A Winner

One week from tomorrow the most important educator in the future of our community will start work as the new president of Chattanooga State. While I am normally cynical of beard-strokers and foundation-hungry dreamers who have little or no concept of the real world, I am convinced Flora Tydings will become the best thing to happen in our community in years. A grandmother with ... (click for more)