Since China‘s famous Soong sisters attended Wesleyan College in the early 1900s, the Macon women’s school has always had strong links to Asia.
It has also hosted students from Russia, but it wasn’t until a native son was posted as ambassador to Mongolia that it began recruitment in the cold, sparsely populated country sandwiched between the two great powers.
This fall the first two Mongolian students began classes at Wesleyan, thanks in part to the family connections of Jonathan Addleton, who was recently reassigned after a three-year stint as U.S. ambassador to Mongolia.
Mr. Addleton, born in Pakistan to missionaries with deep family roots in Macon, mentioned to his sister, Macon City Councilwoman Nancy White, that he would eventually like to see some Mongolians study in his hometown. Ms. White relayed the message to Steve Farr, vice president for enrollment services at Wesleyan.
Already planning a trip to China and Singapore, Mr. Farr tacked on a three-day visit to the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar, where he braved temperatures of 30 degrees below zero Celsius to present Wesleyan at local high schools teaching the International Baccalaureate curriculum.
Bringing diversity into the classroom helps local students as much as those making the trek from abroad, Mr. Farr told GlobalAtlanta.
“Nowadays when you’re talking about what it means with the changes in Russia or China or South America, and when you have students that can present that firsthand perspective, it’s that much more of an enriching educational perspective,” he said.
For more on Wesleyan, visit www.wesleyancollege.edu.
Learn more about Dr. Addleton and Mongolia by reading GlobalAtlanta’s special report on the country here.