BCC welcomes new Sister School

Written by: Sumedha Majumdar
The Beijing University of Agriculture (BUA) officially became BCC’s sister school on Tuesday, June 24. It all began in 2005, when BCC President Jean Floten, along with three faculty and administrative members, traveled to China to visit five universities, one of them being the BUA. The purpose of the trip was to find an institution in China with which to partner. Last summer, four delegates from the BUA visited Bellevue Community College and this year, both the schools finally signed the Sister School Agreement. The President’s Office and the department of International Student Programs welcomed the arrival of the delegates from BUA on Monday, June 23. The delegates were comprised of Mr. Younian Wang, President of Beijing University of Agriculture, and five other faculty members. On June 24, faculty and administrative members from both of the institutions gathered in the board room, B201 for about two and half hours to exchange ideas and sign the agreement to foster better terms and friendship between the members, including the students and faculty of both universities. At 11:30am, President Floten expressed her excitement and happiness about the auspicious occasion of the BUA becoming a sister school, and also reminded us of the large diverse population present here at BCC. She also mentioned the fact that the college experiences a huge influx of students from other countries and would love to see a lot more students from China attending BCC. As of now, the largest numbers of international students are from Korea. The Chinese delegation also seemed very excited about the prospects of being a sister school to BCC and extended their thanks in the same loving manner as was offered. Discussing the Olympics, the President of BUA said that he would love to see the BCC President in Beijing during the games. The agreement was signed at about 11:45am, soon after both the sides gave their welcome speeches. Referring to future possibilities, President Floten said, “There are many exciting programs that we can exchange. I think faculty exchange is very important”. After signing the agreement and posing for photographs thereafter, lunch soon commenced at 12:15pm. President Wang who is also an ardent lover of poetry also showcased his singing abilities by singing a few lines in his native tongue. And almost everybody joined in when President Floten sang “I Left My Heart In San Francisco.” Referring to his visit to BCC, the BUA President said that it was indeed a very big honor for him to be able to visit this college. After the lunch ended, gifts were exchanged between both parties. The BUA delegates brought gifts that showcased the beauty and the culture of their land. One of them was a souvenir of the Olympic games, namely the mascot. The BUA delegates also received gifts that would remind them of the warmth and cultural richness that this state offers. Both parties reiterated that this agreement would not only strengthen friendships between the people but would also be very instrumental in fostering business relations between both nations as the opening of this sister school would help people get educated about different cultures.