SUU opens Helen Foster Snow Cultural Center
Published: September 28, 2022 |
Author: Kenzie Lundberg |
Category: Special events
Creating a valuable platform for sharing Chinese language and culture, Southern Utah University is proud to establish the Helen Foster Snow Cultural Center. The opening event for the new center will take place on Friday, October 7 at 6 p.m. in the Great Gilbert Hall of the Hunter Alumni Center at SUU.
“Utah, in general, values acquiring other languages and learning about other cultures,” said Dr. Stephen Allen, associate vice president of international affairs at SUU. “The goal of the Helen Foster Snow Culture Center is to provide our region with opportunities to learn Chinese, promote citizen-to-citizen diplomacy, and provide cultural outreach opportunities for the region.
The Center is named after Helen Foster Snow, a talented journalist, influential author, longtime humanitarian and bridge builder between the United States and China. Born in Cedar City, Snow left for China in 1931 and lived there during World II. Her work has shown her ability to collaborate across cultures, ideologies and borders, and she has been nominated twice for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Following Snow’s lead, the Center will provide a venue for teaching Chinese language and culture, China-related research, and Utah and China economic development. And in turn will continue to build the relationship of SUU, Cedar City and China.
“It’s wonderful to see so many people today interested in continuing in Helen’s footsteps, building bridges between diverse cultures and people, and continuing Helen’s legacy,” said Dr. Wen Ouyang, executive director of the Helen Foster Snow Cultural Center. “The Center will be a platform for cultural activities and language learning that promote understanding and collaboration. The Center will foster additional economic development links between Utah and China as well as between Cedar City and China.
Snow died in 1997, and in November 2009 Chinese dignitaries brought a 7-foot-tall bronze statue of their heroine to be dedicated in her small hometown of Cedar City. The sculpture resides in Main Street Park honoring his life and legacy. Without a doubt, she was a remarkable woman, a perfect role model for the Centre.
The Center currently offers Chinese classes at Canyon View Middle School, Canyon View High School, and Cedar High School. And plans to hold annual cultural celebrations for the Cedar City and campus communities.
“Chinese language fluency has already been recognized as one of the most important skills for young people in the 21st century,” Dr Ouyang said. “It is one of the Center’s missions to provide Chinese language education to K-12 and middle school students and help them master the language.”
The Center’s Advisory Board includes SUU President Mindy Benson, Dr. Stephen Allen, Associate Vice President for International Affairs, Mr. Adam Foster, President of the Helen Foster Snow Foundation and Snow’s great-nephew, Dr. Lance Hatch, superintendent of Iron County School District, Professor Craig Jones, retired SUU political science professor, Mary Pearson, dean of SUU’s Dixie L. Leavitt School of Business, and Evan Vickers, state senator from Utah.
The Helen Foster Snow Cultural Center will be located in the SUU International Affairs office.