Friday, Sept. 17, 2021
Dedicated students, distinguished colleagues and dear friends,
Celebration of Nations at S&T? Why?
S&T is home to students, faculty and staff representing 80 countries and various cultures and backgrounds. Since 1879, the campus has welcomed international students. By 1909, there were students from Mexico, Peru, Cuba, Canada, Finland, India and Chile in Rolla.
A notable early graduate of S&T is Hector Boza Aizcorbe, a native of Peru who graduated in 1911 with a degree in mining engineering. In addition to establishing a successful mining company, he served as president of the nation’s senate and as Peru’s ambassador to the United Nations. Our international students of yesteryear have served as our de facto ambassadors in far corners of the world. They include Apollo scientist Dr. Farouk El-Baz, who holds a master’s degree and Ph.D. in geology from S&T, and Mariana Rodriguez Risco, a 1980 civil engineering graduate who co-founded two universities in Peru. S&T Trustee Bipin Doshi, originally from India, has never forgotten the impact of this university on his life and career. Bipin earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemical engineering from our university.
These are just a few examples. I receive responses to my emails from many international alumni that are indicative of their pride and joy for being graduates of S&T, UMR or MSM. Often these alumni speak warmly of the hospitality they felt from the community and families who welcomed them with open arms and hearts. They mention families who invited them to their home on “Thanksgiving Day 1975” and other gatherings.
So, Rolla and S&T are a microcosm of internationalism where many of our students and Rolla community members are exposed to cultures and values other than their own. And, we recently launched our global engineering program to give future engineers the skills they need to succeed in today’s global and interconnected industries. At S&T, the global dimension is reflected in the attitudes and values of our students, faculty and staff, and in the ethos of the university.
And we celebrate our internationalism.
One way we do that is through Celebration of Nations, a communitywide platform that highlights the individual and collective cultural identities at our university and in our community. We celebrate to highlight the multiculturalism that has become the hallmark of this wonderful university.
This year’s event will kick off with the Parade of Nations at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 25. Our very own provost, Dr. Colin Potts, will serve as a parade marshal, so come out and show him your support. The parade will follow a new route from outside my home, the Chancellor’s Residence, up 11th street to North Oak. Just follow the camel tracks painted on the street! (Yes, the ever-popular camels will return this year.) The parade will conclude at the Rolla Downtown Bandshell where you can enjoy live entertainment, food, crafts and educational programs.
Please bring your friends and family to our Celebration of Nations on Saturday, Sept. 25. See for yourself why this popular event has become an element of our identity here at S&T, in Rolla and beyond. For a preview of what to expect, check out this video from the 2019 event.
From the dancers of Bollywood Dance Central to the music and dance of Ghanaian performer Nani Agbeli, Celebration of Nations will provide lasting memories and valuable experiences to all who attend. See the full schedule online.
Join us in person if you can; otherwise think of us as we celebrate our vast and deep global dimensions right here in beautiful Rolla.
206 Parker Hall, 300 West 13th Street, Rolla, MO 65409-0910