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Friday in the WFU China Initiative was a day trip out to Suzhou for a tour of the Dulwich College complex. Founded in London over 400 years ago by the British actor Edward Alleyn, Dulwich College is expanding rapidly on an international basis. In China, Dulwich has plans for all three models of Chinese education: top level state schools that emphasize studying for the Gaokao exam, international schools for ex-pats, and new international schools for Chinese students who want to attend college in the US, Canada or Britain. A whole new group of entrepreneurial international companies are forming alliances and partnerships, sometimes with US universities, to provide these educational opportunities. The focus at Dulwich is to provide a trusted, quality product by emphasizing academic excellence, leadership ability, English fluency, and assistance with college applications.

The Dulwich campus at Suzhou is quite impressive, with large cranes in place to construct the new Senior school next year. This is a picture of the Library that serves both Junior and Senior schools:

We returned to Shanghai for an alumni event at the Southern Belle. A small crowd of WFU alums were happy to gather and greet faculty and administrators from the campus. But the most dramatic event of the evening was when the Class of 2016 marched in together, having just had dinner together for the first time. Some had traveled from as far away as Japan to come to the Wake Forest events this weekend. What a happy, enthusiastic group of Demon Deacons. Meet the future:

The whole day was a study in our new global society, and was encapsulated perfectly by the band that showed up to play at the Southern Belle at the end of our party. The best mandolin player this side of Tony Williamson appeared on stage, a young man from Inner Mongolia, studied by way of University of California – Berkeley, along with a good ole boy from North Carolina:

Coming up Saturday: The Main Event!