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Richard, George (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Volume 60, Number 10 (Feb. 1959)

Anderson, Don
Foreign alumni: one of America's great assets,   pp. 24-25


Page 24


By Don Anderson
      Second Vice President
Wisconsin Alumni Association
"I hope that the day will come when every country
in the world has an organized group of Wisconsin
alumni, meeting regularly, continuing to learn the
lessons that any good school has to teach its chil-
dren no matter how long they have been out of the
classrooms, sending back to this campus the expe-
rience and support that every school needs from its
alumni."
Foreign Alumni: One of America's
D R. HU SHIH, scholar and former Chinese am-
     bassador to the United States, once said that
America's greatest contribution to education was its
revolutionary concept of the alumnus, its concept of
the former student as an understandable responsible
partner and champion.
  Wisconsin has been fortunate, especially in recent
years, in having strong alumni relations. I would ask
that this spirit be extended in a larger degree to the
foreign students who come to study here. From class-
room and laboratory they get much that a university
has to offer. I would like to see them better encour-
aged to be loyal Wisconsin alumni after they have re-
turned to their homelands. It can be a source of con-
tinuing benefit to them, a source of new wealth to the
University itself.
  It is not known exactly when the first foreign stu-
dent registered here. There were none in the 1870's.
In 1905 there were 33. This year we have 649 stu-
dents from 70 nations. The leading country is India
with about 100 students.
  It is estimated that altogether 3,800 foreign students
have attended school here. Practically every nation in
the world has been represented. If a university gives
its students not only knowledge but loyalties as well,
24
is it too much to suggest that there is a little flavor of
Wisconsin in every one of the world's communities?
Would it not enrich us and the rest of the world to
have those loyalties deepened and strengthened?
  This program is one that cannot be carried out by
faculty and administration alone. It calls for planning
and effort by the student body. It will require plan-
ning and programming by the alumni association, be-
cause it is easy to lose these alumni once they have
gone back to their native lands. It needs the under-
standing and the hospitality of Madison and other
Wisconsin communities to help give our foreign guests
an understanding and an appreciation of American
home and family life.
  Much has been done along these lines already, but
there is room for improvement.
  Too many Americans fail to appreciate the impor-
tance of having foreign students here to live and
study with us. I think that failure of understanding is
almost as common in the university community itself
as it is elsewhere in the American scene outside the
halls of ivy. Too often we look at these visitors in
terms of a favor we are doing them, a privilege they
could not enjoy were it not for the largesse of the
American taxpayer and his tax dollar. I suggest that if
                  Wisconsin Alumnus, February, 1959


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