The international flags in the Niswonger Commons Living Room at Tusculum College were revitalized with new flags representing the College’s international student population in a ceremony on Friday, November 12. Four new flags were added to those that represent current students and alumni, and the ceremony was held as part of the College’s International Education Week activities.
Tusculum College currently has 44 flags representing current and former students, including the four added in the ceremony. Currently enrolled students come from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, England, Germany, Guatemala, Holland, Ireland, Ukraine, Venezuela and Wales.
The four new flags added included those for Denmark, Kenya, the Netherlands and Puerto Rico, according to Bonnie Weston, student life coordinator at the college and coordinator of the International Education Week events.
As part of the ceremony, which included several of the college’s international students, senior Simon Holzapfel, of Nuremburg, Germany, spoke to the group about attending Tusculum College and his experiences as an international student.
Simon told the group the story of his first day on campus when he was delivered to campus by a coach and unpacked his two bags - one of which contained his bicycle. “I put my bike together and rode to Wal-Mart to get a blanket. The next day I rode back to get a pillow.”
The sports science and sport management major talked about his slow integration in the Tusculum College culture that ended with a quiet young man becoming one of the most active and well-known students on campus. Holzapfel has been honored over the years for his successes in athletics, academics and for his contributions to the community.
“Each of these flags add a different color to the tapestry of this College, I too will have added variety and diversity,” said Holzapfel.
Also speaking was Luis Zamora of Chile, a sophomore management and economics major. Zamora was born in Germany and later moved to Chile.
He told the group he felt the international efforts in which Tusculum College was embarking was increasingly important as the world becomes a smaller place.
“The opportunity to study abroad has opened and broadened my mind in many ways and I wish that everyone could have that opportunity to experience another culture in this way,” he said.
Also on the program was Dr. Nancy B. Moody, president of the college. Dr. Moody told the group that seeing the broad range of cultures through the flag display made her realize how truly blessed the Tusculum community is to have such diversity on such a small campus.
“As we look to these flags and what they represent, I am proud to be a part of this institution that recognizes the value of diversity and the role of international education in providing diverse learning opportunities,” she said.
She added, “Thank you for the opportunity you have given us to know you and to learn from you. I urge each of you to take a serious look at the opportunities afforded to you through your college education.”
International Education Week was held the week of Nov. 7, and included events such as programs focused on soldiers abroad and a sushi-making course. Activities were scheduled to celebrate the cultural diversity of the Tusculum College campus through education.
“International Education Week is an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. This joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education is part of efforts to prepare students for a global environment and to attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn and exchange experiences in the United States,” said Bonnie Weston, student life coordinator for multicultural affairs.
For more information on Tusculum College’s multicultural programs or to find out more about upcoming events, contact Weston at 423-636-7300.
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