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Dutch student visitors admire Storrs campus

Sixty-two Dutch public relations students and seven faculty members visited the Storrs campus last week to compare curricula and campuses.

The students, from Fontys University in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, had never visited a U.S.-style college campus. They were fascinated with the size of the campus (their university is a one-building, non-residential campus), the choice of food in the North Campus cafeteria, the accommodations at Whitney Hall, and the lack of a real city surrounding the University.

Most of the materials used in the Fontys curriculum are American, and the students were interested in seeing how the material is applied in this country, said Addy Ruts, a public relations professor who led the delegation. The students attended UConn classes on mass media and persuasion, sampled UConn ice cream, visited the library, the UConn Co-op, had special tours of pathobiology, the greenhouses, and the William Benton State Museum of Art, and listened to a panel of Hartford-area professionals that included Mark Sullivan of Pratt and Whitney, Sandy Hamer of Hamer Associates, a Farmington-based public relations firm, and Emmanuel Forde, of Michael J. London and Associates of Berlin. Forde is the former spokesman for Northeast Utilities.

Ruts said Fontys is interested in exchanging students and faculty with UConn.

The students began their trip in Washington, D.C. and New York City before coming Storrs. They also attended the public relations national conference in Nashville, Tenn., finishing Saturday in Orlando, Fla.

Karen Grava Williams