Partnership with Aksum University, Ethiopia
MSU Denver’s Office of International Studies and Ethiopia’s Aksum University (AkU) signed a memorandum of understanding in March 2009 to promote mutually-beneficial academic and cultural activities to enhance academic excellence through faculty and student exchanges. Since that time, the partnership has flourished. Projects implemented include:
• Faculty professional development – nearly 25 MSU Denver staff have visited AkU to conduct joint research, present workshops/training to AkU faculty, and provide computer and other technical assistance. One MSU Denver educator served as a visiting professor to AkU for one academic year.
• Elementary school project – MSU Denver raised close to $35,000 to build an elementary school in a rural area about 40 kilometers from Axum. AkU assisted with many of the local arrangements.
• Book-drive - MSU Denver collected nearly eight tons of university-level books for the AkU library.
• Presidential visit – former MSU Denver President Stephen M. Jordan delivered the commencement address at AkU in July 2011.
• State Department grant – MSU Denver was awarded $272,000 in 2010 to take 15 students to AkU for two months and to assist AkU with capacity-building in international education.
Additional partners for the Aksum University initiative include the Denver-Axum Committee of Denver Sister Cities International, the Cunningham Foundation, the Western Union Foundation, the U.S. Department of State, and various MSU Denver departments and units.