A delegation from the Counselors’ Office of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China visited the National Humanities Center the afternoon of October 20. After a tour of the Center’s award-winning building, the group joined Elizabeth Mansfield, vice president for scholarly programs, in the main conference room for a presentation on the mission and history of the Center. Delegates expressed appreciation of the architecture, with Director-General Zhang Yantong observing that the open, light-filled, and friendly character of the building mirrored the Center’s mission in support of free and open inquiry.
Delegates were invited to ask questions following the presentation, and a lively conversation ensued. Of particular interest to delegates were the fellowship selection process and the Center’s status as a nonprofit organization. The fact that the Center exists and continues to thrive thanks to the generosity of individual donors and philanthropic foundations prompted much discussion. Also of interest was the Center’s history of support for humanities scholars from China, and the delegates concluded their visit with warm wishes and encouragement for the Center’s ongoing engagement with scholars from around the world.