Armstrong Welcomes Halle Delegation
(October 26, 2011) A delegation from Halle, Germany visited the Armstrong Atlantic State University campus recently as part of a trip to Savannah to sign a sister-city agreement with Savannah Mayor Otis Johnson and members of City Council. The agreement brings the two cities together for educational, cultural and tourist exchanges.
Headed by Halle Mayor Dagmar Szabados, the delegation toured the campus and had lunch with Armstrong President Linda Bleicken, other university officials and faculty members.
“Armstrong already has connections with Germany and this was an opportunity to have Halle officials meet with us to explore further partnerships that could enhance our relationships with Halle and the rest of the country,” said James Anderson, Armstrong assistant to the vice president for international education and head of the Office of International Education.
The university already enjoys a partnership with Otto von Guericke University in Magdeburg, which is an hour by train from Halle. Armstrong students have completed semester abroad exchanges at various German cities and students participating in summer study abroad in Germany have visited Halle. In addition, three Armstrong students received a Halle Foundation Scholarship to complete internships in Germany in the summer of 2010. One of them, Francisco Resto, who graduated in May 2011, interviewed German Chancellor Angela Merkel for national television.
The visitors to campus included, in addition to Szabados, Harald Bartl, president of Halle City Council; Petra Sachse, deputy head of Halle Business Development; Ulf-Marten Schmieder, executive director of the Univation at Martin Luther University; Alex Kohler, director of Opera Halle; Tristan Preuk, Halle City marketing; Thomas Muller-Bahike, director of the Francke Foundation; Lutz Gorgens, general German consul for the Southeastern United States; Denis Blackbourne, honorary German-French Consul for Savannah; and Georgia Representative Ann Purcell.
As a result of this meeting, Armstrong will be working on developing student and faculty exchange programs with Martin Luther University and the Halle Opera Company. In addition, Armstrong will continue collaboration with the City of Savannah and the Georgia Salzburger, German Heritage, and the German Friendly societies to strengthen this new sister city relationship.