As a gesture of concern and friendship, the visiting president of China's Shenyang Normal University presented a gift of $1,000 to help survivors of the Greensburg tornado rebuild their town.
President Dayu Zhao presented the gift to Bill Ring, executive director of the Ellis County Chapter of the American Red Cross, during a brief ceremony this morning at Fort Hays State University's Sternberg Museum of Natural History.
Speaking through his daughter and translator, Qiuye Zhao, President Dayu said it was traditional in China to help friends during times of trouble. "It is not a great amount of money, but it is our heart and our concern," he said. "Since we are old friends with Dr. Hammond and have a long relationship with Fort Hays State University, we wanted to show our concern." He said the gift represented his university and his students.
Dr. Edward H. Hammond, FHSU president, explained that the delegation of distinguished administrators and scholars from Shenyang Normal University in the city of Shenyang, China, arrived at the Hays Regional Airport late Thursday afternoon. "Last night at dinner at my home, President Dayu was very concerned about Greensburg and the tragedy there," Dr. Hammond said. "He said the custom in China is to help friends when something like this happens, so we hurriedly made arrangements for this morning's ceremony."
Ring thanked President Dayu for the gift from halfway around the world and gave him an American Red Cross card holder as a remembrance of his generosity to the people of Greensburg.
Shenyang Normal University is one of the Chinese universities that has an active partnership with FHSU. SNU constructed a building especially to accommodate the vision it has for the FHSU partnership, and today there are 585 students in the dual degree program. This year will mark the first graduation of students with degrees from both SNU and FHSU. President Dayu will be an honored guest at FHSU's Commencement on Saturday and will deliver remarks to the graduates.