University of Missouri Library Receives Largest Gift Ever of Chinese Books

COLUMBIA, Mo. – At a recent historic book–presenting ceremony hosted by Handy Williamson, Vice Provost for International Programs, and MU Libraries Director James Cogswell, the University of Missouri Library received their largest gift ever of Chinese books, which expands their Asian literary collection substantially. Wen Ouyang, Co-Director of MU’s Confucius Institute (CI), was instrumental in establishing the MU CI and acquiring the books.

The Office of the Vice Provost for International Programs and the Confucius Institute at the University of Missouri (MU) donated 1,000 rare and modern Chinese books to the Library, in honor of the University of Missouri’s centennial relationship with China on behalf of Shanghai Normal University, MU’s Confucius Institute partner; the Chinese government; and the Office of Chinese Language Council (Hanban), a non-profit organization affiliated with the Chinese Ministry of Education.

The Confucius Institute at the University of Missouri, which was founded in 2011, is an important part of MU’s East Asian programming. Not only does MU offer traditional classroom courses for students of East Asian languages, but the Confucius Institute also provides important outreach services to the community. The highly trained teachers at the MU CI teach Chinese language classes to Columbia-area residents, teachers, and K-12 students through cooperative arrangements with Columbia Public Schools and Columbia Independent School. The Confucius Institute also sponsors numerous lectures, meetings, and cultural performances throughout the year. The MU CI is the premier Chinese language and cultural institution in mid-Missouri. It has become a leader in establishing economic and educational ties between mid-Missouri and China.

The University of Missouri first established relations with China through the MU School of Journalism. MU’s relations with China have progressed for more than 100 years. Today, MU is fortunate to have expansive educational ties with China through each of its many colleges and schools. MU has been a leader in establishing cooperative degree programs, so that the best and brightest students come to MU to undertake undergraduate and graduate work. In turn, MU alumni from China hold prominent government, business, and educational leadership positions across the globe.

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