Confetti filled the air and a ceremonial plaque was unveiled Wednesday as Chinese and U.S. government officials, joined with senior Duke University, Wuhan University and City of Kunshan officials to celebrate the Chinese Ministry of Education's preliminary approval of Duke Kunshan University.
Several hundred people gathered inside a tent at the site of the new university, which received preliminary approval in August from China's Ministry of Education. Wednesday's ceremony followed local custom in bringing together Chinese government and education leaders with the Duke community to formally announce that milestone and look ahead to the school's opening.
"DKU is the work of partners who are located half a world apart, but who share two key commitments: a belief in the value of education and a commitment to creating versions of education to meet key needs for our future," Duke President Richard H. Brodhead said at the ceremony.
Liu Jingnan, DKU's designated chancellor, said "Duke Kunshan University is a bold project to drive innovation in Chinese international education. It represents a real chance to explore new models of higher education in China and sets an example for other Sino-international cooperative schools."
Photos below: A traditional Kun Opera performance, Wuhan University student dancers, and officials and other guests from China and the United States.