By Mike Greife, October 16, 2015
WARRENSBURG, MO – The University of Central Missouri will celebrate the 17th annual
Saudi Arabia Day from 3-6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 21 in the South Read and Relax area
of the James C. Kirkpatrick Library.
Following a welcome and introduction of guests, refreshments of authentic Middle East cuisine will be prepared and served by members of the Muslim Students Association. The students will be available to greet guests and talk about their home country.
Since its inception in 1999, Saudi Arabia Day has become an annual event that celebrates the Nance Middle East Collection in the McClure Archives and University Museum; the growing connections between UCM, Saudi Arabia and the Middle East; and UCM’s longstanding belief in fostering international education.
Saudi Arabia Day also serves as a celebration for the university’s Middle Eastern students, who bring traditional foods from their family homes for the gathering of international educators, the campus community, and international students and their families.
The impetus behind Saudi Arabia Day at UCM was the late Paul J. Nance, who worked for Saudi Aramco Oil company for 31 years. Upon his retirement in 1983, he and his wife, Colleen, returned to the United States, where they opened a private museum of Middle Eastern art and artifacts, sharing their vast collection with the public. Nance donated the entire collection, the largest of its kind on public display, to UCM in 2003.