SUU Opens Helen Foster Snow Cultural Center

Published: September 28, 2022 | Author: Kenzie Lundberg | Read Time: 2 minutes

Helen Foster SnowCreating 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 be held Friday, October 7 at 6 p.m. in the Gilbert Great Hall of the Hunter Alumni Center at SUU.

“Utah, in general, values the acquisition of other languages and learning about other cultures,” said Dr. Stephen Allen, associate vice president for International Affairs at SUU. “The aim 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, lifelong humanitarian, and bridge-builder between the United States and China. Born in Cedar City, Snow left for China in 1931 and lived there through World II. Her work displayed her capacity for collaboration across cultures, ideologies, and borders, and she was nominated twice for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Following Snow’s lead, the Center will provide a place for teaching Chinese language and culture, China-related research, and Utah-China economic development. And in turn, will continue to build the rapport of SUU, Cedar City, and China.

“It is wonderful to see so many people today interested in continuing in Helen’s footsteps, building bridges among diverse cultures and people, and carrying on 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 Cedar City and China.”

Snow passed away in 1997, and in November of 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 her life and legacy. Undoubtedly, she was a remarkable woman, a perfect role model for the Center.

The Center is currently providing Chinese courses at Canyon View Middle School, Canyon View High School, and Cedar High School. And plans to host annual cultural celebrations for the Cedar City and campus communities.

“Proficiency in the Chinese language has already been recognized as one of the most important skills for young people in the 21st century,” said Dr. Ouyang. “It is one of the Center’s missions to provide Chinese language instruction to K-12 and college students and help them become proficient in it.”

The advisory board for the Center 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 great nephew of Snow, Dr. Lance Hatch, superintendent of Iron County School District, Professor Craig Jones, SUU retired political science professor, Mary Pearson, dean of SUU’s Dixie L. Leavitt School of Business and Evan Vickers, Utah state senator.

The Helen Foster Snow Cultural Center will be located in the Office of International Affairs at SUU.

Tags: Cedar City International Affairs

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