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Press Release for Monday, October 27, 2014

University of North Florida Launches Region’s First Confucius Institute

Media Contact: Joanna Norris, Director
Department of Public Relations
(904) 620-2102

This week, the University of North Florida is hosting a Chinese delegation in celebration of the opening of its new UNF Confucius Institute, which will provide Chinese language and culture programs, language proficiency testing and mutual understanding and awareness of culture between China and the United States.

The first of its kind in Northeast Florida, the Institute will serve UNF students, faculty, the Jacksonville community and schools, as well as areas of North Florida, South Georgia and Southeast Alabama. There are currently only four Confucius Institutes in Florida and more than 400 worldwide.

A partnership agreement between the University, Florida, the U.S. and Shaanxi Normal University (SNNU), Xi’an, China, will be signed at noon Wednesday, Oct. 29, at Osprey Commons, Building 16, in the Talon Room on the fourth floor, Also on Wednesday, the grand opening reception and ceremony will take place at 6:30 p.m. at the Adam W. Herbert University Center, Building 43, Grand Banquet Hall, Room 1044, on the UNF campus.

The opening ceremony will include speeches by UNF President John Delaney, SNNU Vice President Jianxiang Zhang, Vice Consul General Yuming Zhao from the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Houston and Henry Li, president of the Jacksonville Chinese Association and CFO/vice president of the Jacksonville Transportation Authority. The ceremony will also feature traditional Chinese fan dancing, acrobatics and a musical performance.

“The University is honored to be selected as one of four Confucius Institute’s in Florida,” said Delaney. “This will be a significant investment in our University and in the futures of our students as we work to prepare them for the opportunities of a global society.”

The Confucius Institute at UNF is a collaborative effort between UNF, China’s Office of Chinese Language Council International, or Hanban in Beijing, and Shaanxi Normal University, UNF’s designated Chinese partner.

The University of South Florida Confucius Institute, the first to open in Florida, was created in 2008 in collaboration with Qingdao University in Tianjin, China. The Miami Dade College Confucius Institute followed two years later in collaboration with Qingdao University in Tianjin, China. The Miami Dade College Confucius Institute followed two years later in collaboration with Jiangsu Normal University in Xuzhou Jiangsu Province, China. The University of West Florida Confucius Institute, which opened earlier this year, partnered with Sichuan International Studies University in Chongqing, China.

UNF, a nationally ranked university located on an environmentally beautiful campus, offers students who are dedicated to enriching the lives of others the opportunity to build their own futures through a well-rounded education.