WSU CI Turns 10


             2008: The Grand Opening                                 2014: "5th Year" Celebration                        2015: Performance Excellence Award            2017: Ribbon Cutting at Schoolcraft 

The WSU Confucius Institute, which celebrated its Grand Opening on January 31, 2008 is officially ten years old!
The Institute, founded by former Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Robert L. Thomas, with assistance from Professor Haiyong Liu, was granted a charter from Hanban: Office of Chinese Language International, in 2007, and began some of its programming, such as the weekly Confucius Café, in October of that year. Although January 31 marks the date of the Grand Opening, an official celebration will take place on May 2, when a delegation from Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wayne State’s partnering institution in the Confucius Institute, visit for the occasion. Anyone interested in joining the celebration, to be held at the Golden Harvest Chinese restaurant in Warren, should contact the Confucius Institute at
Wayne State’s Confucius Institute, one of approximately 500 in the world and 100 nationwide, provides opportunities to study Chinese and to learn about China and Chinese culture. While some institutes have highly specialized programs focusing on music, art, medicine, or distance education, the WSU center has provided a great number of outreach programs for K-12 students, the university community, and professional and community organizations. Recalling some of the Institute’s many accomplishments, John Brender, director since 2008, highlighted the following:
·         10 annual Chinese educator conferences
·         10 Chinese summer camps for middle and high school students
·         10 summer programs in China for high school students
·         9 (soon to be 10) Chinese zodiac animal art contests
·         9 (soon to be 10) Michigan China Quiz Bowls for middle and high school students
·         9 summer service learning programs in China for WSU students
·         30+ scholarships for WSU students to study in China for one semester or more
·         6 Chinese musical troupe performances, including martial arts and acrobatics
·         5 large-scale, Chinese New Year celebrations
·         4 annual dragon boat races
·         150+ videos on the “Learn a Chinese Phrase” Youtube channel. The project focuses principally on learning Chinese through amusing idioms and includes a mobile application and supplementary learner’s guide with 100 lessons.
·         A K-12 outreach program that has reached over 150 different schools in southeastern Michigan.
·         A catalogued, Chinese resource library with over 3000 volumes
·         Extended programming at Schoolcraft College as of October, 2017
·         A synchronous distance education project, currently underway with the J.E. Clark Preparatory Academy in Detroit.
·         An international performance excellence award granted by Hanban in 2015
The Institute has clearly served its mission over the past decade, providing a multitude of opportunities for WSU students and untold others to learn about China and Chinese culture and to study Mandarin. In the words of its director, who once taught Spanish at WSU, “The Institute has been a wonderful vehicle for people to learn not only about China, but through their experiences, to become more open to and more understanding of other cultures as well.”
Happy 10th anniversary to the Confucius Institute at Wayne State University!
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WSU CI Turns 10 1/31/2018
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