International walkway opens outside CLA
University President Maravene Loeschke has officially opened the International Walkway, a sidewalk that features illuminated flagpoles and flags from the home countries of international students at Towson.
Although the walkway contains only 17 flagpoles, students from nearly 82 different countries attend Towson.
Each semester, the flags will rotate so each international student is represented at least once, Loeschke said.
“I want international students to look up at their flag and feel proud that they are represented here,” Loeschke said prior to the opening of the walkway.
Zhidong Yang, an international student from the People’s Republic of China, said that during his first semester two years ago, he struggled both academically and culturally.
“The opening of this walkway is a symbol of promoting the spirit of diversity which has long been upheld by Towson University,” he said.
Yang is one of the 646 international students enrolled at Towson as of fall 2011.
“It’s nice to see the diversity and be able to represent your own country confidently,” Omela Francis, an international student from Jamaica, said.
Leigh Anne Weaver, a student who studied abroad, spoke at the ceremony and discussed her experience abroad.
“Your eyes will be opened in ways you can never imagine and your view of the world will be forever changed,” Weaver said. “Anyone who has the opportunity to study abroad should take it.”
Both alumni and philanthropists purchased each flag for roughly $5,000. Half of the donation went towards purchasing the flag, the flagpole and a plaque attached to the pole, while the other half was donated to scholarship funds.
The countries currently represented on the walkway include the People’s Republic of China, Saudi Arabia, the Republic of Korea, India, Nigeria, Nepal, Vietnam, Germany, Senegal, Cameroon, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Jamaica, Brazil, Canada and Kenya.