Liaocheng visitors celebrate North Georgia friendships, partnerships
12/7/2012 11:16:59 AM
(Dec. 7, 2012) — The president and several administrators from
Liaocheng University in China made a one-day visit to North Georgia College
& State University this week as part of their longer visit to the United
States. Though short, the visit was a chance to celebrate a partnership that
has forged friendships and created international opportunities for students and
faculty at both universities.
Liaocheng University is located in the western part of
Shandong Province and is a comprehensive university of nearly 30,000
students. Originally founded in 1974 as a branch of the Shandong
Teachers' College, Liaocheng now attracts students from around the world.
Since signing agreements for a faculty exchange in 2009 and
a student exchange in 2010, North Georgia and Liaocheng each has hosted a
steady stream of administrators, faculty members and students, sharing ideas
for learning and teaching their respective cultures. Next semester, a dozen students
from Liaocheng will be studying at North Georgia.
During this week's visit, Dr. Chunlin Ma, president of
Liaocheng, led the delegation that included Guangzhen Yao, director of General
Administration; Dezhong Zhu, dean, School of Chemistry; Rongliang Ju, dean,
School of Business; Tao Jiang, director of Assets Management; and Yanting Song,
director, Office of International affairs.
|Dr. Chunlin Ma, second from left, was impressed with the work presented by undergraduate chemistry student John Hayes, far left.
Ma, who is a chemist, was interested to see North Georgia's
Department of Chemistry, headed by Dr. Michael McGinnis, and was very impressed
with the research conducted by undergraduate students in the department. The delegation's
campus tour also included meeting with Chinese language faculty and students
and visiting the Mike Cottrell School of Business, the Library Technology
Center, the Recreation Center and North Georgia Suites.
The delegation had lunch with North Georgia President Bonita
Jacobs, university administrators and faculty who have visited Liaocheng. The
lunch was a celebration of the partnership between the two universities and a
time to exchange gifts, a long-held custom in the Chinese culture. Jacobs
presented several gifts to the Liaocheng delegation and the Fiddleheads, an
acoustic group made up of North Georgia alumni, performed.
Dahlonega Mayor Gary McCullough was a special guest and
presented the Liaocheng group with a framed painting depicting Dahlonega's Gold
Ma and his colleagues presented many gifts, including two scrolls
celebrating the "birth of the new University of North Georgia." North
Georgia is expected to consolidate with Gainesville State College in January,
pending approval by the Southern Association of College and Schools Commission
on College and the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.
"I am also looking forward to the future cooperation and
the programs we'll start and more teachers and students who will join these
cooperative programs," Ma told the luncheon guests through an interpreter.
"I also would like, on behalf of the delegation, to express our great
gratitude to all of you — your hospitality and friendship really moved
The collaboration facilitates North Georgia’s
internationalization plan, which is tied to the institution’s strategic plan,
and focuses on helping students become globally competent citizens by
developing an awareness of other regions of the world. Study abroad experiences
and faculty exchange programs are critical elements of this effort.
Chunlin Ma, president of Liaocheng, and North Georgia President Bonita Jacobs stand in the center of a banner presented to North Georgia by Liaocheng University.