University celebrates diversity during United Nations Day

October 24, 2012

UM-Dearborn alumnus Ian Tran UM-Dearborn alumnus Ian Tran performs during the United Nations Day celebration.

Students don’t just learn about inclusion at University of Michigan-Dearborn.

They experience it.

And this semester’s enrollment numbers certainly support that claim. UM-Dearborn students who represent the Fall 2012 incoming class, and are U.S. citizens, were born in 51 different countries on five different continents.

“That’s really a fantastic number,” said UM-Dearborn Chancellor Daniel Little.

The university on Wednesday celebrated its international involvement during United Nations Day in the College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters’ (CASL) Building.

United Nations Day marks the anniversary of the Charter of the United Nations.

The United Nations’ importance at UM-Dearborn is evident by the recent unveiling of The Flags of the United Nations mural at the University Center. The mural, designed by Motawi Tileworks in Ann Arbor, serves as a daily reminder of UM-Dearborn’s inclusive campus environment. Spanning about 22 feet, the mural comprises ceramic tiles of the 193 United Nations’ member states.

As part of the United Nations Day celebration, the campus community honored the Michigan Consular Corps, an organization of professional and honorary diplomats based in the Great Lakes State. Members of the Consular Corps focus on fostering strong ties between their country and the U.S., while placing an emphasis on trade relations, economic development and tourism.

“I’m really pleased that we could come here to celebrate international cooperation,” said CASL Dean Jerold Hale.

Hale announced the Sam Zehra Scholarship Fund in honor of U.S. Sen. George J. Mitchell. George and Alberta Abbott established the scholarship in honor of Mrs. Abbott’s brother, Sam Zehra, and Sen. Mitchell to support students who are interested in careers in public service or diplomacy. UM-Dearborn students Gabrielle Boyer and Aarica Smith are the first recipients of the scholarship. He also read a statement from Sen. Mitchell, who was unable to attend the celebration.

“When I left the U.S. Senate, I established a scholarship fund for needy young students, so I’m aware of the importance of efforts like this,” Mitchell wrote. “I commend Alberta and George Abbott for their generosity and am happy to join with them in recognizing and paying tribute to Mrs. Abbott’s beloved brother, Sam Zehra.”

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