I climbed The Great Wall…..in my loafers!
I recently returned from my first trip to China to cultivate on-going relationships and to establish some new one’s as it relates to the recruitment of students to our University of Toledo. What a journey it was!
Our first stop was in Shanghai as we hosted an alumni dinner. Over a dozen alumni attended this delightful dinner and their stories and memories about UT were very heartfelt. These alumni are currently industry leaders in the automotive and other technology driven businesses. The friendships that they developed as Graduate Students at UT have lived on for decades and they truly see UT as their second home.
Our next stop was at he Chien-Shiung Institute of Technology. Mark Schroeder, Associate Director, Office of Undergrduate Addmissions, and our friends from Owens Community College solidified an innovative One+One+Two Program that will positively impact all 3 instituions and our students in the future.
The next day we started visiting high schools. We made a stop at the Suzhou Experimental High School. This was a delightful visit and we meet with several students interested in attending UT.
Our journey then lead us to Xi’an where we visited another high school known as Dongyi High School. I had the opportunity to sit in on an English class and provide some thoughts as to the lesson plan. I was so very impressed with these young Chinese students and their ability to speak our language and their eagerness to improve. The hightlight of the visit was the entire class shouting “Go Rockets!” as we left.
We then went to Qinhuangdao. This is a Sister City of Toledo and we visited our sister institution Yanshan University. The University of Toledo has had a long standing relationship with Yanshan University and it’s getting stronger all the time. We met with their President, Liu Hongmin to discuss initiatives to increase the exchange of students and faculty at our institutions. I am confident that we left with some creative ideas to implement that will result in more of our UT students visiting Yanshan to study and an increased flow of Chinese students attending the University of Toledo.
My first visit to China was a wonderful experience. The potential to develop fruitful relationships is endless. It clearly is a direction our University will benefit from for years to come. I look forward to working with faculty, Deans and other UT representatives in furthering these relationships.
Onward, regards. Larry.