January 30th, 2014, the Harper Center of Presbyterian College was full of significant guests from all across the state of South Carolina on the eve of the Chinese New Year. The reason for this was the Confucius Institute of Presbyterian College’s annual Chinese New Year Reception.
This Chinese New Year was the transition to the year of the horse and the Harper Center was decorated accordingly that Chinese New Year eve. The event started promptly at 6 p.m. The guests, approximately sixty, that attended were the Directors of the Confucius Institute at the University of South Carolina, Prof. Liang, along with the Mayor of Laurens, Sharon Brownlee, and the Mayor of Clinton, Mr. Robert McLean. Other guests included The President of the Greenville Chinese Culture Association, Dr. Liu and his party, Laurens 55 School District Administrators, Tera Dean and Ginny Cartee, the Assistant Superintendent of Laurens 56, Dr. Laura Koskela, the Laurens County Advertiser, Judith Brown and her friends from Laurens Academy, the headmaster, Todd Kirk and Missy Codington, Midlands STEM Institute in Fairfield County, Mrs. Marie Milam, and Presbyterian College Faculty and Staff.
The program began with a performance of the Chinese song called “Friends” by two of Mr. Chen’s Students who attend Laurens High School, Kevin Dean and Bailey Dunlap. Following their performance PC’s very own Provost Don Raber spoke, introducing the multitude of guests and their accomplishments. In his speech he welcomed the guests and voiced some of the accomplishments of the acclaimed Confucius Institute here at Presbyterian College. Dr. Kejian Jin gave a presentation succeeding Provost Don Raber’s speech on the number of events the Confucius Institute has participated in and held during the past year.
The guests were then invited to eat traditional Chinese dishes in honor of the New Year celebration catered especially from a local restaurant by the name of “Great Taste”. The food was delicious, consisting of dumplings, spring rolls and a multitude of other traditional Chinese New Year dishes.
Overall the night was a success where the guests fully enjoyed themselves and reunited with old friends while making new ones at the same time. The event also served to shed light on the purpose and goals the Confucius Institute has been trying to enact as a strong presence not only on the college campus of Presbyterian College but especially in the surrounding districts as well in just the past year.
Not only did the Confucius Institute hold this event and the Chinese Corner: Dumpling Party, but also helped co-sponsor the Chinese new year party in Greenville with Greenville Chinese Culture Association on Saturday, February 1st, in which around 400 people attended. And also co-sponsored the Chinese New Year event with the Chinese Association of Great Charleston in which roughly 300 people attended on Sunday, February 2nd.