Wesleyan’s student-run group WesInAction raised funds to purchase medical equipment (pictured) for two hospitals in China. (Photo courtesy of Xiaogan Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese)
Wesleyan’s Chinese community (particularly students and parents) recently banded together to help their fellow citizens who are battling with the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19.
From Feb. 2–15, the student-initiated group WesInAction raised more than $23,000, which was used to purchase medical equipment for hospitals affected in the epicenter of the outbreak, Hubei province, China. WesInAction members also provide the campus community with facts about the outbreak and its prevention, and work to promote awareness of racial discrimination on campus.
WesInAction student volunteers have done extensive research on COVID-19 and created a brochure that highlights key facts and statistics about it, aiming to use knowledge to ease anxiety and further understanding of the unknowns around the virus outbreak. They also collaborated with the Wesleyan parent community in China to raise funds and to bring medical equipment directly to frontline health workers who have been reporting medical shortages in Hubei province.
Students, alumni, and Wesleyan families in China contributed to the cause.
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President Michael Roth recently returned from a trip to China and South Korea for a round of receptions, lectures, media interviews and visits with alumni. The trip provided an opportunity to both enhance Wesleyan’s visibility in these countries and to discuss the value of liberal learning, Wesleyan style.
In Shanghai, Roth met with business leaders to discuss liberal education’s role in preparing students for productive careers, and then spoke at a reception and book launch for the new Chinese edition of Beyond the University: Why Liberal Education Matters. The reception was attended by more than 130 current parents, prospective students and press, and demand for the book outpaced supply.
Roth lectured at Shanghai International Studies University, an event attended by about 200 students, and at Peking University, where he also met with officials to discuss partnership activities such as faculty exchanges and summer student exchanges. He completed his stay in Beijing with a presidential reception, where he spoke to alumni, parents and prospective students about what students should get out of college.
“In China, I’ve found a deep and growing appreciation for liberal education,” Roth said. “Students posed many thoughtful questions that led to interesting exchanges. I’ve come away more convinced than ever that Wesleyan has much to offer Chinese students and that there are opportunities to develop some very beneficial partnerships.”
The trip concluded in Seoul with a reception and remarks, including the opportunity to meet with several South Korean alumni who have encouraged interest in Wesleyan among prospective students and college counselors.