Sign above delegations: A Warm Welcome to the Delegation from the University of Hawaii, U S A
UH President David Lassner and Beijing Foreign Studies University President Peng Long, with their respective delegations
Hula dancers from Windward CC perform at an alumni event in Peking sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines

A delegation from the University of Hawaiʻi attended Peking University‘s 120th anniversary celebration held April 30 to May 5. Peking University is one of the oldest and most respected institutions of higher education in China and has a strong relationship with UH dating back more than 30 years.

UH President David Lassner and other university representatives met with Peking University Party Secretary, Hao Ping (UH Mānoa alumnus 1995, MA in History) to share ideas for future collaborations.

In pre-opening events for Peking University’s gala affair, UH students,led by UH Professors Aaron Salā and Makalani Salā, gave a hula performance. The group was featured on China’s public television channel CGNT.

Lassner and the delegation also met with Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU) President Peng Long and leadership to reaffirm the relationship and exchange views on cooperation in multiple areas, including social sciences, regional studies, second language research, history, and Pacific language and cultural studies. BFSU is the premier university in China in international studies.

The meeting culminated with the renewal of the UH Mānoa-BFSU partnership and signing of a new transfer and articulation agreement into the UH Mānoa BA in Economics, the sixth specific cooperation agreement over the past 12 years between the schools. One of the first agreements created the highly successful Confucius Institute at UH Mānoa in November 2006.

“The cooperation between our two universities remains strong at the institutional level and is supported by the substantive cooperation between multiple departments and specialties,” said Lassner. “We plan to continue to strengthen our exchanges and continuously innovate with new and evolving models of cooperation.”

UH and BFSU also presented together in a forum featuring indigenous dance with students from both institutions and discussions around the theme of “Intercultural Dialogue—Cultural Identity and Cultural Mix.” Lassner and BFSU Vice President Yan Guohua delivered remarks, and scholars from both universities reflected on the performances and discussed the intersection, influence, understanding and integration of cultures.

Lassner also attended the World University Presidents Forum while in Peking and gave an invited presentation in the session on Global Education.

First alumni event in Peking in 20 years brings UH friends together

The UH delegation also held an alumni event in China, the first in 20 years, which was sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines. About 70 people attended, including graduates who came from all over Asia, including Hong Kong, Shanghai, Nanjing and Tibet. The group enjoyed Hawaiian music and hula, and planned how to continue to keep their relations strong with each other and UH.

“What an incredible experience it was—meeting so many of our alumni in Beijing,” said Lassner. “My special thanks to Hawaiian Airlines for sponsoring our reception and also for flying our musicians and dancers to Beijing. They were an amazing partner in this event.”

See the BFSU story in Chinese.