Mongolian Dignitaries Touring Baylor Today

Jan. 24, 2006

A two-person delegation representing Mongolia - the northern Asian country between China and Russia - will be visiting Baylor University and its Study Abroad Fair today, as the guests of Jerry and Susan Smith of LifeQwest Ministries and the city of Irving, Texas.

The Study Abroad Fair, which will be held today from 2:30 to 4 p.m. in Barfield Drawing Room in the Bill Daniel Student Center, provides students with information about Baylor's numerous summer and semester-long study-abroad programs. In fact, Baylor President John M. Lilley was one of only 125 university and college leaders who was invited to attend the University Presidents Summit on International Education held earlier this month in Washington, D.C. The meeting focused on strengthening U.S. international education, while emphasizing its importance to the national interest.

Mr. Gunchin Luvsandorj (addressed as Mr. Gunchin), the Presidium President of the Darkhan Aimag, a region/state in northern Mongolia, and Mrs. Batdulam Jambadoo (addressed as Mrs. Batdulam), the Foreign Affairs Officer for the Darkhan Aimag and special assistant to the State Governor of Darkhan, will arrive at Baylor after meeting with Texas Secretary of State. They will be at the Study Abroad Fair at about 2:45 p.m. While visiting Baylor, the distinguished guests also will meet with university leadership and tour Baylor's music halls, sciences building, investments center and athletics facilities.

Batdulam will be available for interview with the media, as well as Dr. William A. Mitchell, director of Baylor's Center for International Education, who can address the vital importance of international education.

As home to the once most-powerful and largest ruling dynasty in world history during the years of Chinggis Khan (known to the western world as Genghis Khan), Mongolia is again coming on the world scene because of the growing awareness of its natural resources, beauty and potential work force. With President and Mrs. Bush's recent visit, an even greater sense of world community is beginning to develop, and today's visit is just one of the many exchanges that will take place between the two nations.

Within a mixed parliamentary/presidential political system, Mr. Gunchin's role as Presidium President is an office that is higher than the governor of the state, but under a Parliamentary position or Prime Minister. However, he is a powerful figure in Darkhan Aimag, a crucial region that serves the primary route between the capital and the northeast portions of Russia.

The primary reason for the Mongolian dignitaries' visit is the formal signing of the International Sister City proclamation in Irving on Thursday, Jan. 26. Jerry Smith was instrumental in establishing the relationship, and Mr. Gunchin has, in turn, been a "Man of Peace" for LifeQwest in their years of establishing humanitarian aid ministries in formerly Communist Mongolia.

In addition to the Sister City ceremony, Mr. Gunchin and Mrs. Batdulam are visiting Texas to gather information regarding commerce, economics, education and culture. Baylor will serve as their "host university," which provides an opportunity to establish contact for future cultural, educational and ministry exchanges.

Click here for more information about LifeQwest in Mongolia.

Click here for more information about Baylor's study abroad programs.

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