Record Numbers Visit Campus for Summer Conferences

Hundreds of teachers from all over the world came to CUA last week as part of the Fulbright Teacher Exchange Program Orientation. The program is just one of many coordinated by CUA Conferences and Summer Programs, which hosted more conferences and summer visitors than ever in 2000.

"CUA has a spacious, congenial atmosphere and a strong collaboration with Delphi International," the contractor responsible for organizing the Fulbright orientation, said Jochen Hoffmann, chief of the federal government's Fulbright Teacher Exchange Program. "The campus has a good ambiance and we’re able to keep the sessions compact. It’s a good place for (participants) to stick together."

More than 6,500 people from 62 organizations made arrangements to visit CUA for conferences, research or other summer use between May and August of 2000, according to Brian Hallahan, director of Conferences and summer programs.

That figure is an increase from last year, when approximately 49 groups came to campus for summer programs. In 1998, approximately 45 organizations worked with the office of Conferences and Summer Programs to arrange for meeting space, catering and lodging on campus.

"We’ve been trying to go after more professional organizations and other groups that will provide exposure for the university and our educational mission," Mr. Hallahan said, adding that his office has stepped up marketing efforts in the past three years with revised brochures and increased attendance at trade shows.

The Conferences and Summer Programs office generates an approximate gross revenue of more than $1 million over the course of a fiscal year, Mr. Hallahan said. After expenses and salaries are paid, the university gains approximately $700,000 to $800,000 in net revenue, he said.

He said that several other departments on campus provide invaluable support for hosting summer groups including Facilities Maintenance and Operations, the Department of Public Safety and the Center for Planning and Information Technology.

This year, visitors included hundreds of Little Sisters of the Poor nuns from around the eastern, middle and southern states who traveled by bus to stay at CUA while making a Jubilee pilgrimage to the Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Hundreds more religious and lay visitors, trade association members, scholars and others stayed in CUA residence halls, ate at the North Dining Hall and met in campus classrooms over the summer.

The Fulbright Teachers contingent was the summer’s largest group, with 600 teachers and program staff on campus. Teachers in the program will be traveling to foreign countries on an exchange program. They gathered at CUA for classes on adjusting to their host countries and opportunities to bond with their fellow program participants.