April 22, 2013 (Jackson) - Belhaven University officials broke ground Friday, April 26 at 1:30 p.m. to celebrate the addition of a new international center. The Dr. Billy Kim International Center will be an 18,000 square foot facility located in the center of campus and is projected to cost $4 million. The international center will be built to highlight the importance of global perspectives in higher education and to celebrate the relationship the University has with South Korea.
Dr. Kim spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony. He is a broadcaster, pastor and influential speaker as well as an international Christian statesman who has advised former presidents of South Korea.
Dr. Roger Parrott, President of Belhaven University, said, In the modern history of the Church, there have been few leaders who have had as much influence as Dr. Billy Kim. Although not as well known in the United States, the ministry of Dr. Kim in Asia has been of the scope and significance of leaders like Billy Graham, Bill Bright, and Rick Warren. Belhaven is overwhelmed to be the only university in America that will have a building named in honor of the global impact of Dr. Kim.
Dr. Kim built an international media network at Far East Broadcasting Company-Korea where he serves as Chairman of the Board and he became the first Asian to serve as the president of the 40 million-member Baptist World Alliance.
The two-story international center will be like a home away from home for international students and a hub of activity for all students. The lower levels core function will include diverse study, gathering, and learning spaces. An electronic international display center will connect students to the latest in television news from around the globe. This level will also include a learning center for both the International Studies and English as a Second Language majors. A display kitchen will allow students to prepare special meals from their home countries. The upper level will be a dynamic conference facility that can allow variations of theatre style seating for 300.
We currently have two dozen countries represented in our student body, and with this center named for Dr. Billy Kim, we expect that number to grow. It is important for us to bring the world to Mississippi, so they can learn with us, and for us to learn from them. Every student education is enriched when they build friendships with students from other regions of the world, adds Dr. Parrott.
Belhaven University stands among select Christian colleges and universities and has been repeatedly named one of Americas 100 Best College Buys." The University offers 30 academic majors across a full spectrum of disciplines as well as a variety of graduate programs. In addition, Belhaven has achieved the distinction of being among only 30 universities nationally accredited in each of the major arts music, theatre, visual art and dance. All programs are taught from a Christian worldview perspective and are guided by the mission to prepare students academically and spiritually to serve Christ Jesus in their careers, in human relationships, and in the world of ideas.
Belhaven University serves over 3,700 students offering undergraduate and graduate degrees on its residential campus, an online degree program, and graduate and adult degree programs in Jackson, Memphis, Orlando, Houston, Chattanooga, and Atlanta.