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Gov. Gregoire welcomes new state Confucius Institute

For Immediate Release: April 26, 2010

SEATTLE – Surrounded by state education leaders and Chinese dignitaries, Gov. Chris Gregoire today signed a memorandum of understanding to create the Confucius Institute of the State of Washington.

“When China’s President Hu Jintao visited our state in 2006, I mentioned to him that I’d like to see a Confucius Institute here,” Gregoire said. “Before China would commit – our state had to prove that we could develop innovative programs to expand Chinese culture and language learning opportunities. I applaud the collaboration of business and education leaders who worked tirelessly to bring this institute here.”

Gregoire signed the MOU along with the Director-General of Hanban and Confucius Institute Headquarters Madame Xu Lin, University of Washington President Mark Emmert and Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson. The institute is a partnership between the UW and Seattle Public Schools, with the support of the governor and the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

“This is a great step in advancing our relations and educational opportunities with China,” said Emmert. “More Washingtonians will have an opportunity at an earlier age to learn Chinese and to become more proficient. It will bring the citizens of our regions closer to one another and help foster greater interaction. We’re very excited about what this means for our future programs with China.”

“We are proud to be hosting – along with the University of Washington, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Office of the Governor – the Confucius Institute of the State of Washington Education Center at our new Chief Sealth International High School/Denny International Middle School campus,” said Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Maria L. Goodloe-Johnson, Ph.D. “We are confident that this collaborative approach to a K-16 education focused on Chinese language and culture will benefit all Washington state students, teachers and the community. In addition, because this is the first Confucius Institute in the world involving such a partnership, it could serve as a model for organizing future Confucius Institutes.”

Confucius Institutes are a non-profit initiative of the HanBan, the executive body of the Chinese Language Council International. More than 250 Confucius Institutes have been established around the world, with more than 50 in the United States. The primary mission is to make Chinese language and culture teaching resources available to the world and contribute to a world of cultural diversity and harmony.

The Confucius Institute office will be located at the UW College of Engineering. The Confucius Institute Education Center will be temporarily located at Denny International Middle School in Seattle, before moving to the new Chief Sealth International High School/Denny International Middle School in the fall. Additionally, partners have been leading active outreach efforts statewide.

At the UW, the Confucius Institute will support programs and web resources on Chinese language and culture. The Confucius Institute Education Center will house classes for teachers and students, administrative functions and outreach to teachers, students, and the public.


For more information, visit the Confucius Institute’s website:

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