The University of Iowa

In the news: Flag display to recognize important role of international students on campus

October 11th, 2018

By Tom Snee, IowaNow

Nearly 120 flags will drape the pedestrian bridge behind the Iowa Memorial Union to recognize the University of Iowa’s international students and their significant role in the life of the university.

The bridge over the Iowa River will be the focus of Bridging Our World, a five-day display featuring the flags of the 116 countries represented by international students attending the UI during the fall 2018 semester.

“Bridging Our World colorfully symbolizes the university’s longstanding commitment to diversity, inclusion, and creating a welcoming campus environment for our international students,” says J. Bruce Harreld, University of Iowa president.

The flags will be displayed along the bridge during the day from Monday, Oct. 15, to Friday, Oct. 19. They will be displayed again for five days in May to recognize the international students who are on campus during the spring 2019 semester.

A dedication ceremony for the installation will take place Monday, Oct. 15, at 9:30 a.m. at the IMU amphitheater. Speakers are expected to include Harreld; Hira Mustafa, University of Iowa Student Government president; and Dexter Golinghorst, Graduate and Professional Student Government president.

The 117 flags will be displayed in accordance with the United States Flag Code. They will be installed by faculty and student members of the UI Army ROTC every morning starting at 7 a.m., and taken down every evening starting at 5 p.m. by members of the Veteran Student Association, assisted by students from other groups. Security will be provided by a video surveillance system during the day.

International students make up an increasingly important part of the University of Iowa, with 3,665 enrolled in the 2018–19 academic year. That’s nearly double the 2,153 international students enrolled in 2007. Melissa Shivers, vice president for student life, says the flags powerfully represent how important international students are to helping the university prepare all students to succeed in a globalized, cross-cultural world.