Troy University’s collection of terracotta warrior replicas was the focus of a recent episode of one of China’s most popular television shows, “The Greatest National Treasures,” which airs on nationwide Chinese network CCTV.
The segment featured interviews with Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., SGA President Nicole Jayjohn, TrojanVision News Director Brady Talbert and Chinese student Yihan Gao.
The 200 terracota warrior replicas were designed by Dr. Huo Bao Zhu and represent the largest display of terracotta warriors outside Xi’an, China, where the originals are located.
Gao, a senior multimedia journalism major from Xi’an, said “The Nation’s Greatest Treasures” was watched by about 280 million people, a number boosted by its airing during China’s Spring Festival holiday.
“It is one of the most popular shows in China,” Gao said. “This is a good connection between the American culture and the Chinese culture. We got to interview both international students and American students. This is a bridge between America and China.”
In the broadcast, Dr. Hawkins and the students emphasized the importance of the relationship between the two countries and the value of housing the terracotta warriors on the Troy Campus.
Dr. Hawkins expressed TROY’s gratitude for the experience.
“This interview gave us an opportunity to display our wonderful collection of terracotta warriors to the people of China while also showing the respect we have for Chinese history and culture,” Dr. Hawkins said. “As I said on ‘The Nation’s Greatest Treasures,’ the relationship between China and the United States is extremely important to the people of both countries and, indeed, to people around the world. As Alabama’s International University, we have students from 75 countries enrolled in our classes. This is another example of building bridges between our nations.”
Associate Vice Chancellor for International Affairs Sohail Agboatwala said the show could help recruit more students from China to TROY.
“This was a great opportunity for TROY to showcase our internationalization on a global scale,” Agboatwala said. “Dr. Hawkins always has a long-term vision. Millions and millions of people watched this and saw TROY featured in a positive way.”
Gao said she has already heard from many friends and family members who were excited to see her on TV.
“People are all talking about this show,” she said. “We did the interview last year, but now that they put it on the air, my family is proud of me. They are really happy, and I feel honored to be an international representative on this show. Because I am from Xi’an, I think I know more about the terracotta warriors’ history and am able to share more about the history and traditional culture with people. I shared this culture with American friends before, but I never before shared this to a Chinese audience. It feels different, and it’s a fantastic experience for me.”