Great Wall of China

Deepening Educational Ties with China

Chinese leader Xi Jinping made his first visit to the United States as president this week. After a short stop in Seattle, he arrived in Washington, D.C., where he was formally welcomed with a traditional 21-gun salute this morning.

When presidents of countries meet, one can only imagine the substantial list of high-priority items for discussion. For Obama and Xi, they includes cybersecurity, climate change, trade and investment ties—and the announcement of the 100,000 Strong Foundation’s new Academic Advisory Council (AAC), which will work to deepen educational ties between the U.S. and China.

President Michael Lindsay has been appointed to serve on the AAC, representing not only faith-based institutions but also liberal arts colleges, along with several other university presidents from around the nation. The AAC works to advance inter-country relations, including the diversification of study abroad opportunities for students, and will advise the Foundation’s Board of Directors and senior management on issues related to U.S.-China educational exchange.

The AAC membership invitation builds on significant groundwork that Gordon has been laying in this area over the last five years. Gordon’s current educational opportunities in China include the China Seminar, a three-week trip to study the nation’s economy and history in some of China’s major cities; the semester-long immersive China Studies program and China Studies Institute at Peking University; and the Hong Kong Summer Finance program, a summer-long study and internship experience in partnership with Hang Seng Management College.

Expanding Gordon’s robust set of global opportunities is part of a growing list of initiatives focused on sending Gordon students into the world—and bringing the world to Gordon. Since 2013, Gordon has arranged more than 30 internship placements in Beijing, Nanjing and Hong Kong through the Global Summer Internship program.

The College has also seen incredible growth in the number of Chinese students enrolled—from a single student in 2011, when President Lindsay assumed office, to 27 enrolled this fall. During this timeframe, several members of Gordon’s faculty, staff and administration have made more than a dozen trips to major Chinese cities to network with prominent educators and recruit prospective students. In addition, Gordon has hosted multiple delegations from Chinese institutions of higher learning, including university presidents, academic deans, faculty members, administrators and Ministry of Education officials.

Gordon’s involvement in 100,000 Strong Foundation’s AAC underscores its deep-seated commitment to global engagement. Positioned at the intersection of foreign policy and politics, 100,000 Strong launched as an initiative under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2010, and was established as an independent nonprofit in 2013. The 100,000 Strong Foundation continues to be endorsed at the highest levels of the U.S. and Chinese governments.

Photo by Wilson Kizer ’15