Timeline Pt. 2 of 2
International students and politics on the national and local stages
1940s-1980s- The U.S. engages in a Cold War with the Soviet Union and its allies. While never formally declaring war, the United States is in armed conflict with one such ally, North Vietnam, from 1955-1975.
1948- The number of international students at MU is now 147, including 46 Chinese students. The Association of International Educators (NAFSA), a national non-profit professional organization for international educators, is founded.
1940s-1950s- The MU Cosmopolitan Club holds “Nations on Parade,” a bi-annual art exhibit. The Club also starts a student fund to provide aid to international students in need. American universities began desegregating in the 1950s. Black students at home and abroad may now enroll.
1949- MU’s Inter-American Club, an organization for Latin American Students, is founded. The Republic of China is now ruled by the Communist Party. The U.S.’s Second Red Scare, as well as China’s involvement in the Korean War in 1950, stirs up tensions between the United States and China.
1953- MU’s international population plummets to 75 students. This decrease is almost entirely due to a drop in Chinese students. Out of 75 total international students, only 12 are women.
1960- There are now 241 international students at MU. India and Iran make up the largest national groups with 62 and 26, respectively. An orientation program for MU international students titled “Operation International Friendship” is started on campus. Y.M.C.A. sponsors Russian student diplomats to come speak to MU students about their lives behind the iron curtain.
Students are greeted at an international student reception at President Ellis’ house in 1966 (image from 1966 Savitar).
1972- The Multicultural Center is founded on campus.
In 1973 the International Students Association “presented activities including coffee hours emphasizing political issues, Third World films, cooking classes… two annual International Nights and an Outdoor Bazaar” (image from 1973 Savitar).
1975- The Vietnam War ends.
Students congregate outside of a Vietnam booth at an International Bazaar in 1979 (image from 1979 Savitar).
Raad Al-Molla, president of the Organization of Arab Students, participates in MU’s annual International Bazaar (image from 1981 Savitar).
1988- The first Multicultural Extravaganza is held on campus.
1990s- The Cold War ends. The National American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is signed by Canada, Mexico, and the United States. The U.S. enters into the Gulf War, the first in a string of armed and non-armed conflicts between America and nations in the Middle East.
1991- Spearheaded by the Legion of Black Collegians and the Homecoming Steering Committee, the Multicultural Extravaganza is now an official part of MU’s Homecoming lineup.
“Nathalie Pham leads a dance to the tunes of the Band Del Alma at the International Bazaar on Lowry Mall” (image and quote from 1996 Savitar).
2010- There are now 1,948 international students at MU. These students comprise approximately 15 percent of graduate student enrollment and 5 percent of total student enrollment at MU. There are 690,923 international students in the United States. Chinese and Indian students comprise the largest proportions of that total.
*Mizzou statistics are reported here as printed in the Missouri Alumnus and Savitar.
Authored by Niki Eaton, PhD student, Art History and Archaeology
Brawner Bevis, Teresa and Christopher J. Lucas. International Students in American Colleges and Universities: A History. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.
Missouri Alumnus, University of Missouri Alumni Association.
Savitar, University of Missouri.