Luncheon celebrates international education, partnership between University and Rotary

TROY students perform the traditional Japanese Fisherman Dance during Tuesday's International Rotary Luncheon at the Troy Campus.

TROY students perform the traditional Japanese Fisherman Dance during Tuesday's International Rotary Luncheon at the Troy Campus.

Troy University and the Troy Rotary Club kicked off International Education Week with a luncheon on Tuesday, celebrating the partnership between the organization and the University and the cultural impact international students have on the local community.

A joint venture of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education, International Education Week is held each November to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide.

“International Education is about bringing globalization and international awareness to the campus and the community,” said Maria Frigge, associate dean of international student services. “In today’s world, I think it is important for everyone to learn more about different cultures, the differences and most importantly, the similarities that we share.”

The Troy Rotary Club has always been a supportive partner of Troy University, said Chancellor Jack Hawkins, Jr., Chancellor.

“It was in the fall of 1989, shortly after my family and I moved here, that we opened the Rotary International House. We had about 40 international students on this campus at that time and accommodations for 14 in the house, so we quickly outgrew that facility,” he said. “Rotary then stepped up again and committed $125,000, and we created the Rotary International House in Pace Hall where we were able to accommodate increased numbers of international students. Over the period of time that has elapsed, our partnership with Rotary has continued to grow. I’m very pleased today with the cultural shift that has occurred on our campus and in our community and the support of Rotary has played an important role.”

Rotary District Governor Sam Adams said the organization and the University share a common vision.

“Rotary’s vision for this year and for the coming years is to see together a world where people unite to bring about lasting change,” Adams said. “That lasting change will not only impact our world and our communities, but our hearts as well.”

A special guest at Tuesday’s luncheon, Consul General of Japan Takashi Shinozuka, commended TROY for being an international university.

“Troy University truly is the international university of Alabama,” Shinozuka said. “Having international students here means a lot to all involved. For the students, it is an important experience that will benefit them for a lifetime. It also has significant impact on the University and the community because of the exposure to other cultures.”

Troy University international students, along with students from the Department of Theatre and Dance, performed the traditional Fisherman Dance. A flag ceremony recognized the top 10 countries sending students to Troy University: Brazil, China, India, South Korea, Malaysia, Nepal, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Spain and Vietnam.

International Education Week activities will continue at the Troy Campus this week with “A Taste of International Life” in the second floor lobby of the Trojan Center on Wednesday, presentations by the History Department on Wednesday and Thursday and the annual International Students Cultural Organization Festival on Thursday night in the Trojan Center Ballrooms.