China comes to Southern Utah: SUU launches prestigious Confucius Institute

Hong and Yangyang Chen perform "Love of Peacock" during the Confucius Institute's cultural performance, Cedar City, Utah, Sept. 28, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Southern Utah University, St. George News

CEDAR CITY – Southern Utah University recently announced the launch of the Confucius Institute on SUU’s campus, which is a partnership with the Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters and Hunan Normal University in China. The official announcement was made on Sept. 28 at SUU and was followed by a community cultural celebration that evening at the Heritage Center Theater.

SUU President Scott Wyatt and Hunan Normal University President Jiang Hongxin shake hands after tying a ribbon together, symbolizing the bringing together of two cultures, as part of the Confucius Institute opening celebration, Cedar City, Utah, Sept. 28, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Southern Utah University, St. George News
SUU President Scott Wyatt and Hunan Normal University President Jiang Hongxin shake hands after tying a ribbon together, symbolizing the bringing together of two cultures, as part of the Confucius Institute opening celebration, Cedar City, Utah, Sept. 28, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Southern Utah University, St. George News

“To be awarded as a Confucius Institute is a rare gift, typically given to large research universities,” SUU Vice Provost Dr. Stephen Allen said.

SUU’s Confucius Center is being launched under the direction of Allen and SUU Provost Dr. Brad Cook. Dr. Jacob Ng will serve as executive director of the center alongside Dr. Clara Yedong, a deputy director from China.

SUU joins approximately 100 other Confucius Institutes across the United States and about 480 international centers.

“We are very excited to have been selected for the Confucius Institute,” Cook said. “It’s a tremendous honor for us, and we join very selective universities across the country who have been chosen.”

The Confucius Institute was founded in 2004 as a nonprofit educational organization with the aim of promoting Chinese language and culture and facilitating international exchanges.

A student from the Hunan Normal University performs Chinese kung fu during the Confucius Institute's cultural performance, Cedar City, Utah, Sept. 28, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Southern Utah University, St. George News
A student from the Hunan Normal University performs Chinese kung fu during the Confucius Institute’s cultural performance, Cedar City, Utah, Sept. 28, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Southern Utah University, St. George News

The Confucius Institute at SUU will provide educational courses on Chinese language, history, culture and literature. The center will additionally host music concerts, performances, workshops and seminars that will be open to the public.

Ng, who said he is honored to be invited to serve as director of SUU’s Confucius Institute, said the institute will contribute to SUU’s vision.

“We will utilize this program to promote multi-culturalism and cross-cultural studies,” Ng said.

He added that he hopes to also utilize the institute as a resource center for business partnerships between Cedar City and China.

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1 Comment

  • anybody home October 7, 2015 at 5:36 pm

    Wow…Confucius in southern Utah. Impressive. Two, two, two religions in one.

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