Continuing the cultural exchange California State University, Northridge and China have enjoyed for over three decades, President Dianne F. Harrison and other campus leaders welcomed Ambassador Jian Liu to CSUN and recognized his donation of more than 2,000 books and other learning materials to the university.
“On behalf of California State University, Northridge, I would like to thank you, Ambassador Liu, and the Chinese Consulate for your generous donation last summer to our library of more than 2,000 copies of learning materials on Chinese language and culture,” Harrison said. “I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Ambassador Liu and the Chinese Consulate, especially the Education Consuls, for recommending and securing 41 China Scholarship Council full scholarships for CSUN students in the past 14 years, including seven in the current academic year.”
Liu, China’s consul-general for Los Angeles, and China’s Consuls for Educational Affairs were recognized during a ceremony at CSUN’s Delmar T. Oviatt Library on Dec. 11. Harrison was also joined by Oviatt Library Dean Mark Stover, College of Humanities Dean Elizabeth Say, and Justine Su, director of CSUN’s China Institute in extending greetings to the consul-general.
The president and campus leadership also presented Liu with a history book about the San Fernando Valley and illustrations from CSUN’s Department of Art.
CSUN’s Women’s Chorale, which has twice traveled to China to perform for international arts festivals, performed two songs.
Liu, who has spent more than 30 years as a career diplomat serving in strategic appointments around the world, including as China’s ambassador in Pakistan, Malaysia and Afghanistan, talked about the progress of U.S.-China relations and educational collaboration.
“A healthy relationship is not only beneficial to the people in China and the United States but also it’s beneficial to all the world,” Liu said. He said the relationship between the two countries will only flourish if the countries respect each other, cooperate despite their differences and act responsibly.
Cal State Northridge has a long history of collaboration with China. CSUN was one of the first American universities to pursue educational and cultural exchanges with Chinese universities when the late President James Cleary signed CSUN’s first foreign student exchange agreement in 1981. A year later, CSUN established its China Institute to promote a better understanding of the Chinese culture and to strengthen the relationship between the American and Chinese people.
Today, CSUN has agreements and letters of intent with nearly 50 universities in China. These agreements have helped to promote the academic and cultural exchange of faculty and students through joint teaching, research, creative projects, visiting professor opportunities and other projects. Hundreds of students from China have studied at CSUN, and faculty have participated in exchange programs.
In September, Harrison visited China and met with presidents from 10 Chinese universities, visited seven partner campuses and attended gatherings with members of CSUN’s China-based alumni networks.
Harrison said the donated material, which includes textbooks with MP3, CDs and DVDs for language learning and practice; dictionaries; maps; books on Chinese history, society, education, arts and culture will be used to enhance learning at CSUN and shared with local schools.
“We are happy to receive these tools for use in our classrooms, “ said Yvonne Chan M.A. ’76 (Special Education), who is founder and principal of Pacoima-based charter school Vaughn Next Century Learning Center. Her school requires students to learn Chinese as part of its curriculum and sends students and faculty to China annually.
Chan who was born in China said the visit from the consul general makes the “global connection” real.