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Binghamton celebrates internationalism

Don Boros, associate professor of theatre, speaks of his experience abroad during a celebration of internationalization on Nov. 14 at the Anderson Center Reception Room

A new report indicates Binghamton’s international enrollment is rising. And the University  celebrated its comprehensive approach to internationalization with a reception  at the Anderson Center earlier this month.

Speakers addressed the many ways in which other cultures have contributed to their teaching and learning at Binghamton and had an opportunity to see a video presentation that was shown in September when President Lois B. DeFleur received the 2007 Harold W. McGraw Jr. Prize in Education.

“We need to and we can do more,” DeFleur said. “We need to be innovators and advocates for internationalization. My dream is to see this passion in every student who attends Binghamton.”

The $25,000 gift she received with the McGraw prize established the Lois B. DeFleur International Innovation Fund. Owen Pell ’80, a partner with White & Case LLC, has contributed an additional $25,000 to the fund.

“My gift is really a tribute to President DeFleur,” said Pell, a partner at White and Case LLP. “I have always admired her focus, her drive and her ability to articulate everything that is special and wonderful about Binghamton University.

“Her fund for innovation in international education comes at a critical time. In a shrinking world, students must have the opportunity to travel and to immerse themselves in other cultures if they are to gain a broader perspective of other nations and their political and economic systems.

“Equally important, we must continue to bring the ‘world’ to Binghamton. The University has always offered a very international campus – literally and figuratively – and professors have always encouraged students to see the world from different perspectives. President Defleur’s work will ensure that Binghamton continues to have a tremendous international faculty and student body.”

Ellen Badger, director of International Student and Scholar Services, said that preliminary figures show total international student enrollment at Binghamton has increased by 14 percent from a year ago, for a new enrollment record.

Graduate international student enrollment is up 16 percent. Undergraduate international student enrollment rose by 12.6 percent. The ratio of undergraduates to graduates continues to increase and, for the second consecutive year, there are more undergraduates than graduates enrolled.

The Institute of International Education’s annual Open Doors report ranks Binghamton 75th in the nation in terms of international enrollment. The University continues to be among the top 10 campuses in New York for international enrollment.

H. Stephen Straight, vice provost for undergraduate education and international affairs, offered audience members at the celebration a huge list of international events that have been held on campus this semester.

He noted that internationalization can result from the things we do as well as the people we meet.

Don Boros, associate professor of theatre, gave an impassioned speech.

Students find they have unexpected courage, strength and compassion through international experiences, he said, and they’re forced to re-examine many things they’ve taken for granted.

“International education does change people’s lives.”

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Last Updated: 10/14/08