SPRINGFIELD, Ohio - Not a bad start to the trip of a lifetime
for the Wittenberg University men's and women's basketball
Touring China for a unique trip that will combine educational opportunities with athletic competitions, the Tiger teams played their first games in the Far East on Monday and came up with a pair of victories. Playing against a college team in Shanghai before a raucous crowd, the men's team scored a 93-64 victory and the women took the measure of their counterparts by a score of 64-48.
The games were the first of two that each team will play during
an 11-day trip to China that is funded by a Freeman Foundation
grant to Wittenberg's East Asian Studies (EAS) program. The Freeman
Foundation is committed to increasing, strengthening and
popularizing the teaching of Asia in college and university
classrooms, in part by creating opportunities for students to
experience Asian cultures for themselves.
A total of 29 players, 15 men and 14 women, are making the trip along with coaches and school administrators.
The grant, the largest single foundation grant ever received by
a Wittenberg program or department, totals $1,958,723 and is being
distributed over a four-year period. With the grant, the EAS
program aims to ensure that all students, regardless of their
course of study, have an encounter with Asia as part of their
undergraduate experience through increased opportunities for
scholarly work in Asia for both faculty and students, recruitment
efforts of high school students interested in pursuing Asian
studies and the creation of new opportunities for student travel
A pioneer in East Asian Studies when founded in 1970, Wittenberg's EAS program now stands as one of the preeminent academic programs in the nation. More than 400 students have graduated with a degree in East Asian Studies since the program began, and most are either employed or attending graduate school immediately upon graduation, thanks in part to the vast network of contacts and connections established by the program's faculty members.