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A gift from the James W. O’Brien Foundation will fund full tuition, room and board at Merrimack for Lynn scholars.
The college celebration was organized by the Office of International Programs to foster a welcoming atmosphere for international students and teach American students about another culture.
“We decided to make it inclusive of the Chinese population because they make up about half of our international population,” said graduate fellow Casey Chapman, who works in international student outreach.
This is the year of the sheep, but it is sometimes called the goat or ram, Chapman said.
Organizers set up tables in the Sak’s first floor lounge for students to create traditional chun lian, or good luck signs, with calligraphy on red paper. The chun lian are usually hung outside a door.
There was a Zodiac wheel matching calendar years to the Zodiac sign along with an explanation of the history of the Zodiac and meaning.
Wen Wang, a program coordinator for a private company for student exchange programs, set up a booth explaining the opportunities to spend a semester or summer in Chengdu, China. Students study at Sichuan University.
“As long as you have the GPA (of) more than 2.5, and the course you choose has to be approved by your academic advisor,” Wang said.
Sparky’s featured Chinese food for lunch.
Gina Russo ’18, of Burlington, and Abby Adams ’18, of Mattapoisett, made their own chun lian.
They were in the Sak to get lunch and stopped to write their good luck cards.
“I just like culture,” Adams said. “I don’t know much about Chinese (culture) but I’d like to.”
Fang Li, of Zheng Zhou, China, and Zi Wang, of Beijing, laughed and enjoyed taking time to make chun lians.
“I think it’s meaningful to write something in Chinese, and of course it’s fun,” Li said.