Belhaven University opened the doors of its state of the art Dr. Billy Kim International Center earlier this semester. The 18,000- square foot facility sits in the heart of campus, and highlights the importance of global perspective in higher education.
The facility is named for Dr. Billy Kim, a pioneer in Christian broadcasting in South Korea. Dr. Kim built the Far East Broadcasting Company, one of the largest Christian media organizations in the world. The building named in his honor also celebrates Belhaven’s relationship with South Korea.
Cliff McArdle, director of International Relations at Belhaven, was instrumental in the effort to build the Dr. Billy Kim International Center and he now occupies an office in the beautiful facility where he works to attract more students from outside the United States, particularly Asia.
“The emphasis on Asia will involve continuing efforts to recruit international students and develop strong relationships with other universities and partners in that part of the world,” said McArdle. “The Dr. Billy Kim International Center gives us a great facility to accomplish these goals, and Dr. Kim’s enormous influence in Korea combined with his friendship with Belhaven will help open new doors and opportunities as we move forward.”
McArdle spends time traveling to Korea to build these key relationships, and has already made the trek this semester, where he had several opportunities to speak to large audiences about Belhaven and recruit potential students. He met with the leadership of Busan University of Foreign Studies, a thriving university in South Korea’s second largest city, and preached in eight churches across the country.
“We had opportunities to present Belhaven and talk about the new Center in each church,” added McArdle. “One of the highlights of the trip was joining Dr. Kim and over 50 other American and Korean ministers in a mass baptism of South Korean Army soldiers. We baptized 4,700 soldiers in a large swimming pool!”
The Dr. Billy Kim International Center will serve as a multifunction facility, enabling Belhaven to meet the needs of many types of groups – from small group meetings to large banquet-style functions. The facility also features classrooms with state of the art media presentation equipment that will be a benefit to current students at Belhaven. There is a Korean-style prayer room that is being used regularly, and it offers a quiet and beautiful retreat for students and faculty.”
“Given my history and relationship with Dr. Kim, serving as Director of the Center is a wonderful blessing to me.” said McArdle. “The location of the facility at the heart of the campus speaks to our commitment to international students, a global perspective and growth of intercultural studies.”