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.

Lee Establishes Grant For Young Alumni

The Office of Alumni Relations at Lee University has established the Young Alumni Professional Development Grant, awarded to young professionals in the early stages of their career to support alumni development in the early years following graduation. The annual award is meant to continue the momentum of a Lee education while encouraging alumni to participate in initiatives, ... (click for more)

Chattanooga State Presents Financial Aid Workshop In Kimball

Chattanooga State Community College will present a Financial Aid Workshop on Wednesday, Feb. 11 from 3-6 p.m. (CST) at the Chattanooga State Kimball Site located at 2100 Main Street in Kimball. This workshop is scheduled to not only answer questions, but to aid students in filing their 2015-2016 FAFSA forms. Tennessee Promise students are required to complete FAFSA before Feb. ... (click for more)

Chief Fletcher Gives Maximum Punishment To Patrol Officer Who Fired 4 Shots Toward Vehicle That Backed Toward Him

Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher has given a maximum punishment to an officer who fired four shots toward a vehicle after he said the driver backed into his vehicle with him standing behind it. Chief Fletcher sustained a finding of “improper use of force – discharge of firearm.” He suspended Officer Alex Olson for 30 days without pay – the maximum suspension allowed ... (click for more)

Van Found On Its Side Off Burkhalter Gap Road; Woman's Remains Nearby; May Be Trenton Woman Missing Since June 4

A van was found on its side off Burkhalter Gap Road on the side of Lookout Mountain near Trenton, Ga., on Wednesday with a woman's body nearby. Authorities said the woman may be a missing Trenton woman. Justine Marie Creech had been missing since June 4. The discovery was made by a woman out hiking. A skull and remains were near the rear tire, authorities said.  ... (click for more)

Shelley Andrews Will Be Missed

Shelley Andrews was one of the kindest, most thoughtful and most effective laborers in our community.  Her work with the Friends of Moccasin Bend was exemplary.  She listened, she learned and she led with dignity and class. Her brave battle with ovarian cancer was a testament to her positive spirit and commitment to her work on behalf of the people of this region. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: This One’s For ‘Grifter’

Back in October of 2013 a Facebook page called “OAF Nation” was created to “boost the morale” of the heroes who make up our nation’s military.” It was tongue-in-cheek satire, putting funny captions on every-day pictures that showed members of the Army, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard as they defended our country. Our fighting men and women loved it. It quickly went viral and today ... (click for more)