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Guanajuato lectures-night scene

SOU community invited to Guanajuato lectures

Three SOU alumni from Guanajuato will present free, public lectures on Thursday, April 11, as part of the 50th anniversary celebration of the sister-university relationship between SOU and the Universidad de Guanajuato.

Members of the SOU community are encouraged to attend the lectures and to welcome the visiting delegation from Guanajuato.

“If you see any visitors from Guanajuato on our campus next week, be sure to tell them bienvenidos – welcome to SOU,” said Provost Susan Walsh, who is organizing the 50th anniversary celebration.

Thursday’s lectures will be in the SOU Art Building’s Meese Auditorium at 9, 10 and 11 a.m. The first speaker will be Martin P. Pantoja Aguilar, an educator at the University of Guanajuato, who will address “Public Financing in Mexican Universities: A Matter of Academic Quality?” Georgina del Pozo, an administrator and former Amistad program coordinator at the University of Guanajuato, will speak next, discussing “Guanajuato City: History, Culture, Living, Education and Amistad.” Susana Montalvo, who has managed several small business projects in Mexico and the U.S., will wrap up the series with her talk, “Small and Medium Business in Mexico and the USA: Common and Divergent Paths.”

The lecture series is part of a multi-day celebration of the relationships between SOU and University of Guanajuato, and the cities of Ashland and Guanajuato, that began in 1969. The partnerships will be formally renewed during a breakfast observance on Monday, and an invitation-only reception and concert for the Guanajuato delegation will be held at SOU’s Music Recital Hall on Tuesday evening.

More than 1,000 students, faculty members and others have participated in exchanges since the Sister City agreement between Ashland and Guanajuato began in 1969.

The cooperative link between the two communities is unique, even though both Guanajuato and its university are much larger than Ashland and SOU. Several Guanajuato families have participated in exchange programs with SOU for three generations, and more than 80 marriages tying people from the two cities have resulted.

Ashland mural in Guanajuato

Ashland, SOU mark 50 years of Guanajuato “sister” relationships

(Ashland, Ore.) — Delegations from Guanajuato, Mexico, and the Universidad de Guanajuato will visit Ashland and Southern Oregon University in April to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their sister city and sister university relationships.

The celebration will include a formal renewal of the partnerships between the cities and universities, and is seen as an opportunity to recommit to the ideals that inspired the relationships in 1969.

“I hope each of us will see this 50-year anniversary as a waypoint at which we can pause, reassess and re-energize before continuing our journey together,” SOU President Linda Schott said in a statement to celebration participants. “Let’s contemplate the future, how our partnership relates to our changing world and what steps we should consider to keep our efforts fresh and relevant.”

On the university side, the multi-day celebration will be highlighted by an invitation-only reception and “gala concert” at the SOU Music Recital Hall on the evening of Tuesday, April 9. The concert will feature four new commissioned works from faculty at Oregon Center for the Arts at SOU, along with a composition by Javier Gonzalez Compean from Guanajuato.

Other university events involving the delegation from Guanajuato include breakfast, ceremonial re-signing of the sister university memorandum of understanding and an SOU campus tour on Monday, April 8. Universidad de Guanajuato Rector Luis Felipe Guerrero Agripino, who has a particular interest in crime prevention, will meet with faculty from SOU’s psychology and criminology departments.

Activities on Wednesday, April 10, include professional development opportunities for SOU faculty and members of the Guanajuato delegation, on the topics of transforming teaching and becoming universities for the future. There will also be an event at the International Peace Flame at SOU’s Thalden Pavilion.

The cooperative link between the two cities and the two universities is unique. Guanajuato is closer in size to Eugene than to Ashland, and Universidad de Guanajuato – which is larger than any university in Oregon – has sister university relationships with more than 300 other institutions worldwide.

But the Ashland-Guanajuato relationships – between both the cities and universities – were the first for each entity. More than 1,000 students, faculty members and others have participated in exchange programs and some families have been involved for three generations. More than 80 marriages have united partners from Ashland and Guanajuato.

In addition to the university activities, Guanajuato business, city government and community representatives will have the opportunity to explore and experience various elements and amenities of Ashland. Delegates from the Mexican city will see a performance of “Hairspray” at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and will celebrate the relationship with breakfasts, lunches and dinners hosted by churches, local organizations and service clubs.

The Ashland Chamber & Travel Ashland is sponsoring events at venues including the Ashland Art Center, ScienceWorks Hands-On Museum, Thalden Pavilion, Brickroom, Irvine & Roberts Vineyards and Mt. Ashland. The events will showcase Ashland’s economy and amenities, and some of the themes that unite Ashland and Guanajuato.

The City of Ashland has planned specific events and tours for Guanajuato’s official city delegation. The Amigo Club, a key partner in the friendship, is coordinating volunteer host families and has a large role in planning for the visit.

“Whenever I consider the sister city relationship between Ashland and Guanajuato, it warms my heart to think of all the friendships that have been built over the years,” said Sandra Slattery, executive director of the Ashland Chamber of Commerce. “Of course, the educational student exchange was the cornerstone for the creation of the relationship, but it truly expanded through the 50 years with the ‘people-to-people’ connections that were formed … even marriages!

“It’s been an honor, as the Chamber, to be coordinating and facilitating the steering committee for the celebration welcoming over 50 Guanajuato citizens to Ashland. May we welcome them with open arms as we work for future strengthened relationships and new partnerships to create peace and friendship in our world.”

Delegations from the city of Ashland and SOU will also participate in 50th anniversary festivities in Guanajuato from May 27 to 31.

The celebration will stretch into the summer as Ashland observes the anniversary as the theme for its 4th of July parade.

Individuals, businesses and organizations who have worked together on the celebration include the Ashland Chamber of Commerce, City of Ashland, Southern Oregon University, Amigo Club of Ashland, Ashland Art Center, Ashland Culture of Peace Commission, Ashland Fire & Rescue, Ashland Parks & Recreation, Ashland Police Department, Ashland School District, Ashland Springs Hotel, Barbara Tricarico, Brickroom, El Tapatio, Gathering Glass Studio, Grizzly Peak Winery, host families, Irvine & Roberts Vineyards, Karen & Allen Drescher, La Clinica, Lloyd M. Haines, Martolli’s Restaurant, Mt. Ashland, Oregon Center for the Arts at SOU, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Our Lady of the Mountain Catholic Church, Platt Anderson Cellars, Rogue Valley Peace Choir, Rogue Valley Roasting Co., Rotary Clubs of Ashland, ScienceWorks Hands-on Museum, Southern Oregon Printing, Temple Emek Shalom, Travel Ashland and Weisinger Family Winery.

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SOU-Guanajuato at Night by Loreta

Event to advance tradition of SOU-Guanajuato exchanges

The 4th Annual Guanajuato Nights fundraiser will return to the Rogue River Room in SOU’s Stevenson Union on Nov. 10, and its organizers are on a mission to fuel more student exchanges between SOU and Universidad de Guanajuato.

The evening begins at 5 p.m. and will include dinner, silent and live auctions, music and other entertainment. Tickets are $55 each and can be purchased by calling (541) 261-7116 or emailing amigo@97520.net.

Guanajuato Nights – which raises money through ticket and auction sales – has helped the Amigo Club of Ashland accumulate more than $120,000 for a scholarship fund administered by the SOU Foundation. The event is supported on campus by SOU’s Office of International Programs.

The Amigo Club Endowed Scholarship Fund has also benefited from interest earnings, other Amigo Club fundraisers and a generous match from Guanajuato philanthropist Faffie Siekman, who is married to SOU alumnus and prominent Mexican Senator Juan Carlos Romero Hicks.

Five scholarships through the Amigo Club fund have been awarded over the past three years to students participating in the Amistad exchange between universities in Ashland and Guanajuato.

More than 1,000 students, faculty members and others have participated in exchanges since the program began in 1969 with a Sister City agreement between the two cities. Next year will mark the 50th anniversary of that relationship.

The cooperative link between the two communities is unique, even though both Guanajuato and its university are much larger than Ashland and SOU. Several Guanajuato families have participated in exchange programs with SOU for three generations, and more than 80 marriages tying people from the two cities have resulted.

The Amigo Club serves as a citizen’s support group for the Ashland-Guanajuato Sister City arrangement. Those who wish to donate gift certificates, professional services or objects of value to the event’s auctions may contact the Amigo Club by email at amigo@97520.net. The club is a tax-exempt organization, and donations may qualify as charitable contributions.

Last year’s Guanajuato Nights fundraiser drew more than 120 attendees, including three Sister City leaders from Guanajuato.