College dedicates Confucius Classroom

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Saint Augustine's University celebrated the dedication of its Confucius Classroom on campus Thursday, Aug. 25. The Confucius Classroom at Saint Augustine's University is the first of its kind at a Historically Black University or University. It is one of three Confucius Classrooms under North Carolina State University's Confucius Institute. The other classrooms are at Central Carolina Community University in Sanford and Enloe High School in Raleigh. The Confucius Classroom will offer classes in Chinese language and culture for the campus community and the community at large.

"The establishment of a Confucius Classroom at Saint Augustine's University is in line with our institutional mission of preparing students to be competitive in an increasingly globalized society," said President Dianne Boardley Suber.

The Confucius Institute's mission is to promote intercultural understanding between the U.S. and China, said Dr. Bailian Li, director of N.C. State's Confucius Institute. Programs like the Confucius Institute support President Barack Obama's initiative to send 100,000 U.S. students to China to study.

Saint Augustine's University's Confucius Classroom is the culmination of a partnership between Saint Augustine's University and N.C. State that began in 2009, which is when Saint Augustine's University students began traveling to China along with N.C. State students to study at the Nanjing Normal University. Leaders at both schools said they are excited to be able to offer the same instruction to people locally.

"This is an opportunity to bring China here to Raleigh — bringing the global to the local," said Anna Lamm, deputy director for the Confucius Institute at N.C. State.