24 February, 2017
Diversity, the quality or state of being composed of many different elements or types, has been a buzz word locally, nationally and globally for the past decade. Harmony, a word usually associated with music, also denotes a balanced, pleasing, or suitable arrangement of parts. With these words in mind, the Office of International Programs at Gadsden State Community College is set to celebrate the 2017 International Festival from 4 to 8 p.m. Feb. 24 at Gadsden Convention Hall.
Our theme this year is “Creating Harmony in Diversity,” said Becky Duckett, director of International Programs at Gadsden State. “Thousands of students from more than 80 countries representing diverse cultures and dialects have been welcomed on the campus of Gadsden State Community College for almost half a century. We look forward to providing an education for the next generation of international students over the next fifty years.”
The College is home to the Alabama Language Institute—the oldest English language institute in Alabama. The Institute was established on the campus in 1973. Gadsden State has taken its place as part of the 21st century global community by welcoming students from Eurasia, Central Asia, Kazakhstan, Pakistan and Russia through the U.S. Department of State’s Global Undergraduate Exchange Program and the Thomas Jefferson Scholarship Program since 2013.
“We welcome our students, faculty, staff and community members to attend this year’s event and experience the fun, interesting foods, music, vendors, photo booth, table displays and native dances from around the globe,” added Duckett. Gadsden State currently has 78 international students from 31 countries.
The event is free but the 6 p.m. dinner requires a ticket, which costs $15 for adults and $10 for students. Tables of eight can be reserved for $130. Foods from around the world will be served. Tickets are only available in advance by calling 256-543-ARTS (2787); visiting the International Programs office in Naylor Hall, Room 108, on the Wallace Drive Campus and online at www.wallacehall.org. The last day for ticket sales is Feb. 20.