Marking the largest crowd in its over 30-year history, the 2017 Walsh International Dinner drew more than 430 people to celebrate the heritage of the campus’s international community with a special dinner on Saturday, March 18, in the Cecchini Center.
Organized by the Office of International Student Services and The World Student Organization, the event featured a buffet style dinner prepared by Walsh international students and served alongside meals donated by Sodexo, Buffet Dynasty, Lucca Restaurant, Giant Eagle and Bombay Sitar. Entertainment included an international fashion show, Japanese Swordsmanship display, cultural dancing, vocal performances and music provided by Walsh students and guests. This year’s event also drew students from nearby colleges including Mt. Union University, Malone University, The Akron University, Case Western University, Stark State and Kent State Stark.
“Our International Dinner is one of the most highly anticipated events of the year and provides a special opportunity for international students to share their heritage through food and entertainment,” said Kristi Campbell, Director of International Student Services. “We actually outgrew the Barrette Center for the first time this year, which speaks to the high level of support our students receive on campus. They really put their heart and soul into creating an event that is full of energy and personally celebrates the unique aspects of their individual cultures. The entire night is an expression of who they are as a community."
The fashion show highlighted traditional clothing modeled by Walsh’s international students from Uganda, Vietnam, El Salvador, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and India. Performances showcased the talent and diverse culture of Walsh’s students with a dozen performances including Belly Dancing, Opera, Salsa, and traditional dances from Hawaii, Thailand, Polynesia, Venezuela and Rwanda.
“This year, we have 27 international students graduating in May,” said Campbell. “I believe that is an amazing retention rate that underscores the excellent job our faculty and staff do to make our students feel welcome here at Walsh.”
Each year, the buffet-style dinner is prepared by Walsh’s international students as the main event for the evening. Students from 34 countries, including India, Canada, Spain, Tanzania, Brazil, Bolivia, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia and the UK, attend Walsh University.
This event is sponsored by Walsh’s World Student Organization, formerly the International Club. The student-led club officially changed its name in fall 2015 to promote global diversity and inclusion on campus. The name change reflects the club’s mission to be more recognizable to non-international students and more inviting to the entire campus.