September 26, 2014 - CI Director Steve Kliger met with Ambassador Sun Guoxiang, Consul General at the Chinese Consulate in New York City.
Left to right: Deputy Consul General Zhang Meifang, Barbara Reiner, Ambassador Sun Guoxiang, Consul General and CI Director Steve Kliger
The Confucius Institute at Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) seeks to expand and enrich Chinese language instruction and the appreciation of Chinese culture throughout Connecticut. Furthermore, the institute brings respected and aspiring leaders together, breaks down barriers between the U.S. and China, and empowers individuals with skills necessary for the future.
Confucius Institute Officially Opens at CCSU
June 5th, 2014
Gateway for educational, cultural, and business opportunities
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – June 5, 2014
NEW BRITAIN, Conn. – Serving as a gateway for cultural, educational, and economic opportunities with China, the Confucius Institute at Central Connecticut State University formally opened today with an exchange of gifts and well wishes between CCSU and a Chinese delegation.
CCSU joins the 100 U.S. universities and 400 worldwide making up the Confucius Institute network, funded, in large part, by the Chinese National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language (known as the Hanban).
Offering remarks at the celebration were Governor Dannel Malloy, New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart, CCSU President Jack Miller, and Consul General Guoxiang Sun of China’s Consulate in New York, and dignitaries from CCSU’s sister university in China, Shandong Normal University, and from Connecticut’s sister-state, the Shandong Province.
“This is a momentous occasion and I’m proud to be part of it,” Governor Malloy told the audience, referencing his 2012 visit to the Shandong Province where he promoted Connecticut as a “great place to establish a presence in the United States” while attending the World Economic Forum.
“China is a major player in the global economy, and the Confucius Institute at CCSU will help us prepare a workforce better equipped to compete in the world market,” the governor said. “It will serve as a platform so that all sectors, including business and education, may seek to cultivate meaningful relationships –- creating a great bridge from one nation to another.”
The event also included more than an hour of colorful dance and inspired musical performances by the School of Music at Shandong Normal University, the All Connecticut Chinese Chorus, Xi Wang Dance, and CCSU’s Department of Music.
President Miller, who traveled to China 2011 to strengthen Central’s relationship with Shandong Normal University and lobbied for hosting a Confucius Institute, described today as “historic” for CCSU and the state.
“Our university is truly honored to be home to the very first designated Confucius Institute within the State of Connecticut,” he said. “We expect the years ahead will be highly productive and personally fulfilling for our students, our university, and for others in the state interested in studying or learning about Chinese culture and language.”
Miller went on to single out Steve Kliger, institute director and executive director of the Center for Public Policy and Social Research, for his critical role in advancing the Shendong and Confucius partnership. The center houses the Governor William A. O’Neill Endowed Chair in Public Policy and Practical Politics. It was Governor O’Neill who, in 1986, travelled to China and established Connecticut’s ongoing sister-state relationship with Shandong Province.
“It is very clear,” Kliger said, “that governments in both Connecticut and Shandong Province considered the establishment the Confucius Institute in this state to be a critical milestone in the history of the sister-state relationship.”
CCSU’s Confucius Institute will offer study abroad opportunities, student scholarships, academic exchanges, teacher training, summer language camp in China, after-school and summer programs for at-risk youth in New Britain, and business and community outreach programs. Located in the Burritt Library, a collection of 3,000 titles will be housed by the Institute and made available to the public, including Chinese textbooks, history, poetry and literature.
The institute is already in the process of collaborating with Connecticut’s public and private K-12 schools and districts in creating Chinese language programs. CCSU is recruiting qualified Chinese language teachers from Shandong Normal University who will become visiting teachers at these schools.