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University at Buffalo Confucius Institute Celebrates the Mid-Autumn Festival and Confucius Institute Day

The University at Buffalo Confucius institute (UBCI) sponsored and contributed to a series of events during the last two weeks of September to celebrate the fifth global Confucius Institute Day, which coincides with the annual Mid-Autumn Festival and September 28 commemoration of Confucius’s birthday.

CNU dancers perform in the UB Drama Theater on September 17

Events in this annual celebration included:

  • An evening performance of Chinese music and dance on September 17 by students from Capital Normal University, UB’s long-time partner in Beijing, in the UB Drama TheaterPerformances on September 18 by the CNU troupe at City Honors School and Elmwood Franklin School in Buffalo
  • Participation in a Chinese Cultural Festival on September 21 in the UB Student Union organized by the Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA) at UB
  • Co-sponsorship of CSSA’s Mid-Autumn Festival Gala, featuring UB student performances in the Student Union Theater
  • Co-sponsorship of the International Chinese Culture Festival at Praxair in Tonawanda, with performances of classical Chinese songs and a Chinese calligraphy table
  • Participation in the Mid-autumn Cultural Festival organized by the Chinese Club of Western New York at Amherst Presbyterian Church

The celebration culminated on September 30 with a gala in the UB Center for the Arts that included music and dance performances; remarks by senior UB administrators, students, and teachers engaged in UBCI programs; and presentation of the Confucius Educator Award to Dr. William A. Kresse, PhD, principal of City Honors School in Buffalo.

CNU ensemble performs at Elmwood Franklin School (Photo by Rebecca Murak)

The audience of 140 people enjoyed the wonderful performances by students and teachers and the dinner catered by Eastern Pearl restaurant; and learned about many of UBCI’s valuable contributions to academic and cultural life at the university and in the Buffalo community.

Claire Schen, Associate Dean of the UB College of Arts and Sciences, speaking on behalf of Dean Robin Schulze, said, “As an academic unit within the College since its establishment in 2009, the Confucius Institute has had a significant impact on teaching and research about China at the University at Buffalo.”

John Wood, UB Interim Vice Provost for International Education, noted that nearly 5,000 students studied Chinese in 2017-18 in programs affiliated with UBCI. Wood further noted the valuable partnership with Capital Normal University in the Confucius Institute’s work, and thanked CNU faculty members currently teaching at UB Ruiyao Wang, visiting professor of Chinese language in the Department of Linguistics, and Jin Wang, visiting professor in the Chinese language pedagogy M.Ed. and New York State certification program.

Confucius Institute Day Gala in the UB Center for the Arts.

Conor McMahon, a master’s student in the Department of Philosophy and Confucius Institute Scholarship winner for the 2017-18 academic year, said, “I would like to emphasize just how effective I found the language program to be. The program I entered at Capital Normal University [enabled me] to make a truly significant step forward towards fluency. I can’t say enough just how supportive and helpful the Confucius Institute was through the whole process.”

UBCI was honored to be involved in this rich and diverse series of activities to showcase Chinese culture at UB and in the Buffalo community. We are proud of the students at UB and throughout Western New York involved in Confucius Institute programs and grateful to all of our partners at UB and in the community for their support and willingness to collaborate.

See additional photos from the Confucius Institute Day celebration on September 30 in the UB Center for the Arts.

Read more about the Confucius Educator Award to Dr. Kresse.