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November 2008

 
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Exchange alumnus witnesses renewal of international ties

Partnership Among those at the signing of a renewed friendship agreement between two institutions half a world apart was someone with a personal interest in seeing the venture prosper.

Alexander Lastovka was one of the original exchange students to benefit from a joint program between St. Norbert College and Kharkov Polyteknic Institute in the Ukraine. Now dean of international affairs at the Kharkov school, Lastovka was at St. Norbert for Reunion/Homecoming when the agreement was due to be signed.

Lastovka represented the rector of Kharkov Polyteknik at the signing, which cements a revived “friendship agreement” between the two partners in international education and will serve as a foundation for future cooperation.

The compact allows for the possibility of joint faculty projects, including research and guest instructing, as well as future student exchange and friendship visits by sports teams and campus musical groups. Each institution has committed to supporting its own delegations, faculty and students in future endeavors.

Old friends
Originally brought together in 1990 by a federal grant for cooperation, the two institutions of higher learning teamed up for about three years with a series of visiting delegations and a few student exchanges, intended to be part of a larger relationship between a newly independent state of the former Soviet Union and the United States.

Mutual funding of the various programs became very difficult after the grant ran out and the agreement lapsed in 1997. Since then both institutions have attempted to resurrect the original agreement but until now the timing was not right.

St. Norbert college president Tom Kunkel is hoping to visit his counterpart in Kharkov sometime this spring to confirm details of the future relationship.


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St. Norbert College • 100 Grant Street • De Pere, WI 54115-2099 • 920-337-3181