Greetings from Beijing

Your (more or less) faithful correspondent, Father Linnane, is writing to you from the guest quarters of The Beijing Center for Chinese Studies (TBC) at the University of International Business and Economics (UIBE) in Beijing. I am in Beijing with Dr. Snyder and his spouse, Carol Costello, to visit TBC administrators and faculty as well as the sixteen Loyola University Maryland students presently studying here. I am very grateful to Father Ron Anton and Father Roberto Ribeiro (Founding Director and Director respectively) for making this trip possible during these difficult economic times for all universities. I believe that it was very important for me to take advantage of their kind invitation in order to learn more about the Center and to explore increased collaboration with the Center. This is particularly important in light of the new strategic plan for the University that seeks—in part—to promote opportunities for global and international studies both on the Evergreen campus and beyond. Further, while the intellectual heritage of the Christian West will always be at the heart of a Jesuit university, I believe that Loyola must to do more to encourage our students to study and explore non-Western cultures and societies. Dr. Snyder and I hope that this blog will help our readers better appreciate the value of international academic programs and encourage 2012 and 2013 students and parents to seriously consider participating in the programs offered at Loyola.

The Beijing Center (www.thebeijingcenter.org) is a collaborative project offering instruction in Chinese language and culture primarily for students at the twenty-eight Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States. Students for the Jesuit universities around the world as well as some undergraduates from non-Jesuit schools also study at The Center. In addition there are graduate courses in business and immersion programs for faculty and staff. It is also important to acknowledge that The Center’s outstanding English language collection of Chinese studies attracts scholars from around the world. Since it is said that a picture is worth a thousand words, I am sorry to report that I left my camera in my room the morning that we toured the facilities of TBC (poor, old Father is not dealing with jet lag as easily as he once did!) but I promise to get back with my camera and get some photos. What I will say at the present is that Dr. Snyder and I were impressed with the up-to-the minute technology in the classrooms and the extensive holdings of the Anton Library of TBC. The Center occupies the fourth floor of a recently constructed academic building on the campus of UIBE and is decorated in traditional styles of China with beautiful antiques and works of art. Just to wander the hallways and library of The Center makes one eager to get out and explore the wonders of Chinese history and culture. Stay tuned!

I can show the dramatis personae of this trip. The first photo on the left below is of Dr. Snyder and his spouse, Carol Costello. This photo was taken during a brief but delightful stopover in Hong Kong on our way to Beijing. I think they look great after 24 sleepless hours! The next photo is of yours truly who looks worse for the wear but is still trouping the Loyola colors. The third photo is of Father Ron Anton, Founding Director of TBC, and Chen, Administrative Assistant, Guestmaster, and tour guide at The Center. At the right hand photo is of Carol Costello, myself, and Father Roberto Ribeiro, the incoming Director of TBC. The discerning reader will recognize the disparity in temperature between Hong Kong and Beijing.

The final photo for this blog is of myself, Chairman Mao, and Billy, the great tour guide from TBC who showed us both the Forbidden City and the Olympic Village. He also knows where to get the best pizza in Beijing! More on the Forbidden City later. It is time to leave for the Chinese Acrobats!

By the way, was there a photo of Kara and Nick ice skating on the Quad on Loyola’s webpage?

Happy Thanksgiving and safe travels back to Charm City.