For release: December 9, 2010
For press information, contact Riki Jackson, Assistant Director, Confucius Institute at the University of Memphis and Asian Studies
and International Trade, U of M 901-678-2595
The Confucius Institute at the University of Memphis (CIUM) has been named one of
the top six Confucius Institutes in the United States and one of the top 30 Confucius
Institutes in the world. The honor was announced by the National Office for Teaching
Chinese as a Foreign Language (Hanban) in China. Hanban is the corporate headquarters
for 322 Confucius Institutes and 369 Confucius Classrooms in 96 countries in the world.
Hanban serves as the hub for all activity surrounding the promotion and teaching of
Chinese language and culture for Confucius Institutes across the globe.
The selection for this designation was based on key components such as school partnerships,
community involvement, leadership, development of key partners, enrichment programs
involving the teaching and promotion of the Chinese language, cultural programs, innovative
use of teaching methodologies, etc.
The U of M’s Confucius Institute was founded on August 13, 2007, under the direction
of Dr. Hsiang-te Kung, a 75th generation descendant of Confucius. The CIUM opened its doors with two full-time
employees in borrowed space at the University of Memphis. Today, the Institute has
26 employees in a spacious office on the 11th floor of Wilder Tower at the University of Memphis.
“It is an honor to be selected for such a prestigious award from among so many worthy
candidates,” said Dr. Kung. “Currently, the CIUM is working with 24 partner schools
teaching Chinese language and culture to over 3,000 students in public, private, and
parochial schools in Tennessee.
“In addition, the CIUM annually offers Chinese summer immersion camps in Memphis,
Chinese Summer Bridge camps for high school students to travel to China, Chinese Winter
Bridge programs for school administrators to China, community programs, cultural programs,
teaching workshops, and serves as a research center for Sino-U.S. relations, teaching,
and cultural initiatives.”
The CIUM is a partner with the University of Memphis and Hubei University in Wuhan,
China. “The leadership provided by Dr. Shirley Raines, University of Memphis president,
and Dr. Chuanxi Wu, Hubei University president, has been instrumental in creating
a successful foundation for the CIUM,” Kung added.
“Our program also includes an undergraduate program for students majoring in Asian
Studies and International Trade (ASIT),” he said. “The ASIT program includes classes
in international business, the humanities, and Asian languages, specifically Chinese
and Japanese. One semester to study abroad in China is also a part of the ASIT program.”
“We have much to be proud of at the CIUM. We have a great team, wonderful students,
and amazing partner schools across Tennessee. The future looks very bright for the
Additional information about the Confucius Institute at the University of Memphis
is available by phone at 901-678-2595 or online at www.memphis.edu/cium