Mississippi College

International Festival Celebrates Many Cultures at Mississippi College

March 11, 2009

Mississippi College will soon spotlight the cultural contributions of its students from about two dozen nations on the Clinton campus.

Bringing dance performances, classical piano, Taekwondo demonstrations and much more to the Swor Auditorium stage, MC will host the second annual International Festival on Friday, March 27.

The evening program is free and open to MC faculty, staff, students, and the Jackson metro community. Beginning at 6 p.m., the entertainment should last for nearly 90 minutes. Visitors will be treated to refreshments in the Nelson Hall lobby after the show.

Sponsored by MC's International Center, the festival is designed to "celebrate all the different cultures represented on our campus," said Carrie Lassetter, the international students activities coordinator.

Martial arts − with Taekwondo and Tai Chi demonstrations − will be a new feature this year with dazzling performances led by Chinese students. MC enrolls about 300 international students, including 250 from China. Popular with audiences last year, a glittering 20-minute fashion show will return to the Swor stage.

Countries represented with students showing off the latest trends in fashion wear will include India, Nepal, Vietnam, Taiwan, and South Korea. Other performances range from traditional Chinese songs to a Tibetan dance and a piano duet.

MC President Lee Royce, Jim Brackenridge, director of international programs, and Ron Howard, vice president for academic affairs, were among those spotted in the cheering crowd at last year's program. This year's festival promises to be another entertaining evening for audiences of all ages.

The International Festival, Howard said, "is always a highlight of the spring term. It makes clear what a remarkably talented group of students we have here at MC from around the world.''

MC's international students "add so very much to the cultural as well as academic life of the university,'' Howard said.

When Royce arrived as MC president in 2002, there were just nine international students on the Clinton campus. Since then, MC international student enrollment has skyrocketed, and their immense educational contributions to the Baptist-affiliated university are worth celebrating, school leaders say.

For more information on the International Festival, contact Carrie Lassetter at 601.925.7705 or Lassette@mc.edu

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