Oct. 10, 2010
Andrea Jones, 404-413-1351
Georgia State University will celebrate the opening of a newly formed Confucius Institute, a partnership with the Beijing Language and Culture University, in a dedication ceremony at the Rialto Center for the Arts to be held on Friday, Oct. 15. The event begins at 8 p.m. and is open to the public. Tickets can picked up at the Rialto or Confucius Institute in the Citizens Trust Building on a first-come, first-served basis.
Georgia State's Confucius Institute, housed temporarily in the Citizens' Trust Building, is the only one of its kind with a specific focus on promoting Chinese language and culture to the broader business community in Atlanta and Georgia.
The Institute, formally approved by the Office of Chinese Language Council International (or Hanban) in July, will provide comprehensive services for promoting Chinese language and culture to foster intercultural exchange between China and the U.S.
Georgia State joins nearly 300 Confucius Institutes in 75 countries worldwide that provide Chinese language and cultural teaching resources and services.
"We are thrilled to partner with the Beijing Language and Culture University to provide new and exciting opportunities to our students, faculty and the greater Atlanta business community," said Georgia State President Mark P. Becker. "The Confucius Institute at Georgia State will not only strengthen the university's course offerings in Chinese language and culture, but strengthens our commitment to create global citizens."
Becker oversaw the creation of a Confucius Institute at The University of South Carolina when he served as provost, and his connections to BLCU and Hanban helped Georgia State secure the new Institute, Chinese officials said.
Fenwick Huss, dean of the J. Mack Robinson College of Business, said Georgia State's Confucius Institute will further trade relations with China by offering targeted classes in business Chinese and culture instruction. While business Chinese is mentioned in some Confucius Institutes around the country, there are none that offer in-depth courses.
"We will be unique in our ability to educate businesses, organizations and community groups throughout the Southeast that have business relationships with China," Huss said.
Lauren Adamson, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, said the Confucius Institute will build on GSU's existing programs. Several centers at GSU are directly involved in activities and events that relate to China. The Asian Studies Center, for example, has organized various events featuring Chinese arts and culture.
"The College of Arts and Sciences is proud of its growing offerings in Chinese language and culture and its many strong partnerships with colleagues in China. The Confucius Institute will provide invaluable resources which will greatly enhance our educational programs and our connections with the Chinese community in Atlanta."
Two professors from the Beijing Language and Culture University have already arrived on the GSU campus to begin teaching Chinese this spring, said Baotong Gu, the new director of the Confucius Institute.
Fall class schedules are still being finalized, he said. In addition to the regular credit courses for GSU students, the Confucius Institute will also offer non-credit courses geared toward the general public as well as courses and workshops on special topics in Chinese culture and business practice intended for corporations and organizations interested in expanding business connections with China.
The CI will also host events that aim to give the American audience a direct sensory experience of various aspects of the Chinese culture, such as singing, dancing, calligraphy, and other art forms. The Confucius Institute at GSU successfully co-organized the "Embrace China" Moon Festival Gala Show last month, which brought 19 Chinese performing artists of national and international caliber to Atlanta
Once the Confucius Institute goes into full swing, there will be plenty of such events, Gu said.
"We cannot wait to get the other programs up and running," said Gu. "This dedication is the culmination of months of hard work and dedication. The Confucius Institute at Georgia State will be a true asset to both the university and the community as a whole."
The ceremony at the Rialto will feature two outstanding singers from China, a famous violinist, dancers from Cao Ying Dance School, The University Symphony Orchestra, combined choirs and other School of Music musicians performing Chinese and American pieces to celebrate this collaboration. The program will include remarks by GSU President Mark P. Becker; Xiliang Cui, President of the Beijing Language and Culture University and Yanping Gao, Consul General Consulate General of People's Republic of China in Houston.
For more information about the dedication ceremony, contact the Confucius Institute at 404-413-5298.