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College ties to India strengthened by visit

Late January marks an exciting time for President Grant Cornwell and his wife, Peg, associate to the president for community, trustee and parent relations.† The couple will be accompanied by Shila Garg, professor of physics and former dean of faculty, on a two-week excursion to India that will tour four different cities.

The trip will include visits to Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Delhi.† In these cities, the group plans to meet with Wooster alumni and parents of Wooster students as well as visit high schools and create relationships with higher education colleagues through discussion and conversation.

Although the College has recruited students from India for many decades, Cornwell is the first Wooster president to schedule a series of alumni events in India.

The desire to reach out to the international Wooster community comes as no surprise because Cornwell’s scholarship is based in areas of human rights, globalization and critical race theory. In addition, Cornwell is nationally recognized for his work defining liberal learning in a global environment.

One of the College’s core values in its mission statement is “diversity and inclusivity.”† To accomplish this, Wooster actively seeks and brings together students, faculty and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds. Five percent of the Wooster student body is international students, a large part from India.

“Wooster has a long history of engagement in India, going back to the earliest days of the College,” Cornwell said.

Cornwell explained that, due to this longstanding history between Wooster and India, engagement has become prominent.† The Global Social Entrepreneurship program and the Hales Fund study group faculty who traveled to India in 2008 will help strengthen this bond.

In addition, students at Wooster will have the opportunity to experience India during a course offered for the fall semester in 2011 called “Wooster in India.”† This course will have an on-campus academic classroom and lecture aspect during the semester. During the weekly class times, students will examine what arts and culture India offers.† Then, over winter break, students in the course will embark on a three-week field experience in the southern regions of India

Cornwell stated, “I’m very excited to have this chance to meet with our alumni, explore opportunities with higher education leaders and continue to spread the word about Wooster to prospective students in India.”

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