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Dean’s Visit Celebrates the Significance and Impact of Hopkins-Nanjing Center

December 14, 2023

Johns Hopkins SAIS Dean James Steinberg was in China December 14-16, 2023, for his first visit to the Hopkins-Nanjing Center (HNC), where he spent time with students, faculty, alumni and staff, and delivered a speech on “China, the United States, and the Future of World Order.” The visit highlighted the significance and impact of the Hopkins-Nanjing Center, the oldest educational joint venture in contemporary China.

Coming near the end of the year that marked the 80th anniversary since the founding of SAIS, the dean’s visit also included meetings with Nanjing University’s President Tan Zhemin, Vice President Wang Zhenlin, and staff members of Nanjing University’s international affairs office. Joining Dean Steinberg for the trip were Khadija Hill, SAIS’ associate dean for development and alumni relations, Amanda Bogan, associate director of development for Asia and the Middle East, and Chris Crosbie, senior advisor to the dean.

The busy schedule for the first day of the dean’s visit included a tour of the HNC campus, after which he observed two classroom discussions, met with faculty over lunch, listened to several student thesis presentations, and met with HNC students. During the lunch with faculty, Dean Steinberg heard from various faculty members on what inspired them to come to teach at HNC.

The post-lunch thesis presentations highlighted the rigorous interdisciplinary scholarship that HNC students engage in during their study in Nanjing. The afternoon concluded with the interactive 90-minute meeting with students in the Kuang Yaming Auditorium—the dean led a conversation covering various topics, from academic support to closer cooperation among all three SAIS campuses.

The second day of the visit began with the dean meeting with HNC staff to express his appreciation for their contributions to the HNC and SAIS. This was followed by the meetings with Nanjing University leaders, the dean’s speech, and a homecoming reception that gave alumni and current HNC community members the opportunity to interact with Dean Steinberg and his team, and with one another.

More than 100 China-based SAIS alumni braved freezing rain and snow to attend the reception. In addition to the alumni based in and around Nanjing, many traveled from Shanghai, Beijing, and even New York City. It was a great opportunity for alumni to catch up with classmates and faculty members and make new connections with current HNC students.

The visit was an enriching experience for the Hopkins-Nanjing Center community, an opportunity to interact with Dean Steinberg and discuss topics ranging from academics to what roles HNC students and alums can play in the US-China relationship and beyond. For the dean and his team, it provided firsthand insight into the Hopkins-Nanjing Center’s operations, its beautiful facility, the dedication of its faculty and staff, and HNC students’ creativity and intellectual insight.

The Hopkins-Nanjing Center, which opened in 1986, is a partnership between Johns Hopkins University and Nanjing University. Its distinctive intellectual community offers a rigorous bilingual education that prepares students to understand the nuances of historical and current issues and build careers in fields where China encounters the world.