Butler holds thank you reception for Confucious Institute

Photo by Reid Bruner

Butler University celebrated its partnership with the Confucius Institute in Indianapolis on Tuesday evening with a reception that featured speeches from both schools, Chinese delicacies and classical Chinese music.

The Confucius Institute in Indianapolis—part of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)—recently donated more than 1,300 books, DVDs and other instructional materials to Butler University to enrich opportunities for Butler students, faculty and staff to learn about the Chinese language culture, economics, society and more.

The institute has received strong support from Butler since it was established in 2007, especially from former president Bobby Fong.
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Jamie Comstock presented a plaque to Zhe Zheng, the associate director of the institute. Comstock said that Butler is just as committed to the institute, as in the past, despite Fong’s departure.

Monte Broaded, director of global education, introduced the event and said he was very pleased with the contribution.

“It greatly enriches campus and helps promote interest in China and its contemporary role in the world,” he said.

Zhian Zhao, Global Music Scholar at the Music and Arts Technology Program at IUPUI, provided music at the reception.

He played a short concert of four pieces on what was called a “Chinese violin” or a “two-stringed fiddle.” His pieces included—in their loose English translations—“The Happy Night,” based on a celebration of the Chinese New Year, and “The Rivers,” a sad composition about a woman speaking to Mother Nature about her lost husband, who worked himself to death far away from home.

“I truly enjoyed the music,” said Sylvie Vanbaelen, associate professor of French. “It was very moving. I’m also very grateful for all the books and instructional materials we’ve gotten to add to our library.”

The Confucius Institute offers Chinese language courses for everyone from children to adults, along with a summer language and culture program in China. Broaded said that a few Butler students went last summer, and more are planning to partake this summer as well.

Zheng said he plans on keeping a close partnership with Butler.

“It’s my pleasure to come to Butler,” he said. “You can plan on us contributing more in the future.”

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