Written by Ed Osborn
Chen Sanpang and President Núñez signed a formal exchange agreement that sets the stage for further collaborations between Eastern and Hanshan Normal University in Chaozhou.
Willimantic, Conn. -- Eastern Connecticut State University President Elsa Núñez and Eastern's Visual Arts Department hosted a delegation from Hanshan Normal University in Chaozhou, a city in Guangdong Province, China, during a visit to Eastern's campus April 27-29. Following a full agenda that included lectures in Eastern classrooms and campus tours, President Núñez and Hanshan officials met to sign a formal exchange agreement on April 29.
"We look forward to exchanging students and faculty with you as we build the relationship between our two schools," said Núñez. "Our two institutions both share a common heritage of preparing teachers to teach in local schools and a commitment to improving the economy of our regions. Thank you for your hospitality in welcoming Art Professors Qimin Liu and Gail Gelburd to your campus this past summer. That successful trip is why we are able to come together today."
While Hanshan is about 100 years old in its present form as a university, it began as a institution of learning 920 years ago. Like Eastern, it has always had teacher education as the core of its mission, and is proud of its motto, "Teach and study diligently, and behave as a model accordingly."
Like Eastern, Hanshan has expanded from its teacher preparation roots, and is organized roughly into an equivalent number of departments offering a similar number of majors across the academic spectrum to those at Eastern. With 15,000 full-time students, it is larger than Eastern, but still shares many common interests. The exchange agreement with Eastern adds a U.S. presence to a list of other Hanshan exchange programs with colleges and universities in Kazakhstan, the Republic of Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Australia, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.
"We are really enjoying our stay," said Hanshan University Vice President Chen Sanpang, "and we are honored to be your guests. We had a campus tour this morning, and I was impressed by your beautiful campus and your energetic students. I am also amazed by all of the beautiful artwork that you have displayed throughout your buildings. Eastern clearly appreciates art! You are learning about us too. We feel connected to you -- we share a common mission and Professor Liu has now built a bridge between our institutions. While this relationship is starting in the area of fine arts, we do not want to limit our relationship to that area. On behalf of our president, we hope to invite Dr. Núñez and an Eastern delegation to China."
Following these remarks, Chen Sanpang and President Núñez signed a formal exchange agreement that sets the stage for further collaborations between the two schools.
Other guests from Hanshan included Xie Hengxing, chair of the Department of Fine Arts; Liang Zhitao, vice chair of the Department of Fine Arts; Hong Peiwei, director of Finance and Administration; and Huang Peizheng, vice director of Foreign Affairs.