NORTH CANTON Walsh University celebrated its diverse student population as part of International Education Week by holding its annual International Flag Ceremony. The event is its fourth year and is hosted by the International Club.
The heart of the event is when students from around the world who attend Walsh proudly walk their flag on stage, shake hands with President Richard Jusseaume and introduce themselves to the audience.
"We have students attending Walsh from all over the world, this year we have the highest enrollment with 106 international students," Walsh Director of International Student Services Kristi Campbell said.
Campbell said the event provides a great opportunity for the campus community as well as the surrounding communities to meet the international students and learn about their cultures.
Attendees were also treated to samplings of desserts from around the world, many made by the international students. The Walsh University Chorale performed. There was also a musical piece performed by Carolina Bejarano Eyl and Melisa Valle and Nepali Folk Dance was performed by Roja Baruwal.
Walsh University President Richard Jusseaume welcomed each student and their flag on stage.
"When I came to Walsh in 2001 we had 23 international students and now this year we have over 100," he said.
He thanked the international students, "Walsh University welcomes you and thanks you for choosing Walsh to complete your studies. You bring culture, diversity and talent to our campus and to our community. Thank you for your contributions to both," he said.
While there were 35 flags presented on stage this year only one new one was added to the collection by a student from Syria. Maram Alokaili came to the U.S. two years ago with her father.
She graduated Jackson Local Schools last spring and started attending Walsh this fall.
"I’m studying pre-dental biology at Walsh," Alokaili said. "It was hard to transition when I first arrived in the United States, but I’m used to everything now. I really like it at Walsh because the professors at Walsh understand the difficulties the international students may experience and the struggles with a new language."