UIS dedicates flag wall honoring international students
The University of Illinois Springfield is honoring international students through a new display of 63 foreign flags in the Sangamon Auditorium lobby. A dedication for the display was held on Friday, November 19, 2010.
The flags represent the countries from which students have traveled to attend UIS over the past 40 years. The university currently has a population of 195 international students from 43 different countries.
“The reason we put these flags up is to recognize the role these students play in making UIS both a diverse and an excellent educational institution,” said Tim Barnett, vice chancellor of Student Affairs at UIS.
International student Abhineet Singh decided to come to Springfield from India because of the friendly environment. For him seeing his countries flag on display shows the university cares.
“This is very important to me being an international student getting recognized and appreciated by the university is a really good thing,” said Singh.
Other students like Driss El Akrich, who is from Morocco, agree the flags are a great addition to the UIS campus.
“I really appreciate it. It does make you more proud to be part of UIS and to enjoy diversity, not only to embrace it, but to see it on display,” said El Akrich.
UIS Chancellor Harry Berman thanked the staff members who made the flag display possible calling it “beautiful”. He also made a prediction about UIS’ future when it comes to international outreach.
“If I were to identify one way in which UIS five years from now will be different than the UIS of now it is in the degree to which we have international students here and we have our students traveling internationally,” said Berman.