The Confucius Institute at Webster University Opens With Joyful Celebration This Evening!

February 27, 2009

If you attended, please leave your welcoming comments here as a post on this blog!

confucious_institute-logoThe Grand Opening Celebration for this important learning center is just winding down at the historic Old Post Office in the heart of downtown St. Louis. (The Old Post Office has a separate post on this blog under “About St. Louis.”) It was a wonderful event with a program that included many dignitaries and speakers:




Words of Welcome
Neil J. George, Ph.D.
President, Webster University

Zhao Min, Ph.D.
Vice-President, Beijing Language and Culture University

Huang Ping
Consul General, People’s Republic of China

William “Lacy” Clay
U.S. Congressman, First District

Russ Carnahan
U.S. Congressman, Third District

C. Michael Dubois
Legislative Assistant to
Senator Christopher “Kit” Bond

Closing Remarks
Deboran Pierce, Ph.D.
Director, Confucius Institute

Presentation of Plaque (Gift)
Zhao Min, Ph.D.
Vice-President, Beijing Language and Culture University

Ribbon Cutting
Neil J. George, Ph.D.
Zhao Min, Ph.D.
Deborah Pierce, Ph.D.
Liu Qiang, Ph.D.
Deputy Director, Confucius Institute

A Lion Dance commenced immediately after the ribbon cutting with the sound of drums and cymbols filling the space in the building’s first floor grand lobby.

Perhaps 300 guests attended and followed the Lion Dancers and the dignitaries from the lobby to the Institute’s welcoming spaces.

Lion Dance Drum

Lion Dance Drum

Carved vintage Chinese furniture was a gift to the Institute from a St. Louis philanthropist. It creates a beautiful atmosphere for the vitrines nearby that display museum arts and artifacts, just outside the classroom and library.

Chinese cultural arts on display included not only the Lion Dance and the arts and artifacts, but also demonstrations and explanations of calligraphy (by Shu Fa), Tea Ceremony (by Cha Yi), Tai Chi (by Internal Chinese Martial Art, and Chinese Business Etiquette.

Also on display were books at the children’s table and language arts table.

A final note: Music permeated the event as Tabitha Mui played the guzheng. The guzheng is a traditional Chinese instrument. The modern-day guzheng is a plucked, half-tube zither, with movable bridges and 21 strings.

Chinese cymbols

Chinese cymbols

We have a lot to learn from the Chinese about their cultural and national history.

Prosperity to all in the Year of the Ox!

Again, if you attended the event, please leave a post with your words of welcome and impressions of the event!

PS  I am a Webster University – St. Louis alumnus.


[Lion Drum & Cymbol graphic courtesy of]


2 Responses to “The Confucius Institute at Webster University Opens With Joyful Celebration This Evening!”

  1. Jie Says:

    Thank you for posting about our grand opening. I hope you had enjoyed it. If Confucius Institute has any other events or programs, I will let you know!

    We are currently taking applications for intensive Chinese language and culture summer camp in China. The program is called Chinese Bridge and is open to high school students. The only requirement is little or no Chinese background. Deadline is March 15th. It is a bit of short notice, but I just found your web page today. More information at

    Looking forward to reading more of your blog.


  2. donnajgamache Says:

    Jie Fan, I am so happy you found the blog! It’s a pleasure and great honor for me to be involved with Confucius Institute at Webster University as a volunteer. I am enriched every time I walk into the space it occupies. I also happy you posted a comment here–many people read and don’t post. I wish more would post, so I know what they would enjoy knowing, as I can write more about those things for them. I will also post a separate item about your intensive summer camp in China today, so it has two spots here to help get out the word. Best regards, Donna

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