||Chinese Club off to an exciting start
RELEASED: November 26, 2009
By Laura Pasley
DANVILLE, KY— Centre’s commitment to not only hosting students from China but also—more recently—to expanding programs that send students to study in China has spurred interest on campus for a club dedicated to all things Chinese.
Although the Chinese Club may be new, it has already attracted nearly 40 members. Current students WenChen Tu and Julie Baer are the founders and presidents of the club.
"My involvement with the club began last year, before the club even began," Baer says. "I was one of two people selected for Centre's first study abroad programs in Shanghai, China, which was absolutely amazing. When I returned to Centre, I met WenChen, and we decided to work together to start a Chinese Club. Over the summer, all of the Chinese students worked together to come up with ideas and to complete the paperwork to make this club a reality."
After initially speaking with Dr. Milton Reigelman, Director of International Programs, Baer and Tu grew even more convinced that there was a definite need for a club at Centre that is dedicated to the Chinese language and culture.
"Dr. Reigelman told me that Centre will expand the study abroad in China program and would love to have more students studying Chinese before they study abroad," Tu says.
In order to prepare more students for the expanded full-term programs in China, the Chinese Club has begun weekly Chinese language seminars. Here, current students from China can aid American students in their language skills before they travel.
The faculty advisor of the club, Dr. Steven M. Beaudoin, associate professor of history, will be taking a group of students to China this January and has encouraged his students to take advantage of the Chinese language seminars.
Looking toward the future of the club, Tu explains that the club has several events planned outside of the more academically centered language and culture seminars.
"We've already completed the Mid-Autumn Festival," she says, "and we've decided to have a huge celebration for Chinese New Year, which is Feb.14, 2010."
For this celebration, the club plans to have small carnival with activities such as a mahjong table, Chinese table, calligraphy and Chinese painting workshops, Chinese games and a Chinese musical performance.
"Everybody has come together to make this club a resounding success," Baer says.
Throughout the year, the Chinese club offers many activities, including a Chinese table set up once a week in Cowan to teach folks how to use chopsticks and speak some Chinese, language and culture lessons every Saturday, and celebrations of important Chinese festivals.
Of the many events held during the first year of the club, Baer's favorite was the Chinese Moon Festival.
"This year, it fell over parents' weekend," she says, so we had many students and parents coming to hear about this traditional celebration and, of course, to eat some delicious homemade Chinese food!"
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Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Consumers Digest ranks Centre No. 1 in educational value among all U.S. liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/elevatorspeech/
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