Family To Share Thanksgiving With Baylor International Students

Nov. 23, 2004

by Lori Scott Fogleman

Seven Baylor University international students will spend this Thanksgiving Day enjoying a traditional American feast with a Waco family who has opened up their home to Baylor students from other countries for nearly a decade.

Piers and Alethea Bateman serve as a Welcome Family through Baylor's Center for International Education. The Welcome Family program offers friendship to students a long way from home and family; allows local families and students to learn about each other's cultures; and builds bridges of understanding between peoples and among nations.

"The Batemans have been extremely gracious to add one or two more international students each year, even though they are continuing with the ones they already have," said Beth Walker, adviser for campus and community involvement in the Center for International Education. "They not only extend hospitality during the holidays but serve as a Welcome Family year round."

Alethea Bateman said her family is planning a traditional Thanksgiving menu for her "Baylors," as she calls her students. Alethea's sister, Sarah Levine, and her husband, Mike, will co-host the meal, along with their two daughters and one of the Bateman's sons.

"Several of our students have offered to help with the cooking," Alethea said. "With so many people, a small kitchen and two large dogs and a cat, it is fair to anticipate modified chaos, but we will have lots of fun and plenty to eat."

The Batemans will host their "Baylors" during Christmastime, as well.

"We have met and grown to love many outstanding young people through this opportunity and do wholeheartedly encourage other interested families to get involved," Alethea said.

For more information, contact the Batemans at 772-0765. For more information about participating in the Welcome Family program, contact Walker at 710-4825.

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