updated: 6/29/2005 7:35:45 AM

Indianapolis Welcomes University of Indianapolis Israeli Students

Christian and Muslim Arab students, accompanied by faculty members and their families, will be arriving later this week from the University of Indianapolis' Mar Elias Campus in Israel.

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The students will be attending the second summer session classes at the University of Indianapolis, as well as experiencing our museums, attend sporting events, going shopping and even visiting the Indiana State Fair.

SOURCE: Inside INdiana Business

News Release

University of Indianapolis poised to welcome
first group of students from campus in Israel

Indianapolis, IN—It was two years in the making, but the University of Indianapolis is poised to welcome the first group of students from its Mar Elias Campus in Israel, most of them traveling abroad for the very first time.

About 50 Christian and Muslim Arab students, accompanied by five faculty members and their families, are journeying from the Upper Galilee region of Israel later this week to arrive in time for the university’s second summer session. Classes begin July 5.

This will be the first group of Mar Elias students to study in Indianapolis since the university began offering three degree programs in their tiny village of Ibillin in 2003. Ibillin is near Haifa, not far from the Lebanese border.

The Arab students will have a full schedule of coursework, field trips, guest speakers and special activities during their seven-week stay. Many churches and organizations, including the Chicago-based arm of Pilgrims of Ibillin, have raised money to make the trip possible for these students of very modest means.

The students will be living in a residence hall and taking classes each Monday through Thursday. They’ll have guest speakers and excursions around Indianapolis on Fridays, and spend a weekend in Chicago hosted by Pilgrims of Ibillin. While in Indianapolis, the students will see museums, attend sporting events, go shopping and even visit the Indiana State Fair.

“We want to give these students a truly memorable experience both in and out of the classroom,” said Mary Moore, vice president for research, planning and strategic partnerships. “Ultimately, we want them to develop a broader understanding of America and Americans than what they’ve seen in the media, and we would like our students, faculty and staff to come away with a better appreciation for a very complex region of the world.”

Mar Elias Campus, the official name for the university’s affiliate in Israel, was conceived by the Rev. Dr. Elias Chacour as an apolitical institution that would bring baccalaureate programs to Ibillin while nurturing dialogue and understanding among students and faculty of all faiths. Chacour, a Palestinian Arab and Melkite priest, is founder of Mar Elias Educational Institutions—elementary and secondary schools and post-high school training programs that have been operating in Ibillin for nearly a quarter century. It was his longtime dream to create a college campus there as well.

As a result of Chacour’s affiliation with the university, the Israeli government granted accreditation for Mar Elias in 2003, as a branch offering the university’s degree programs in Communications, Computer Science and Environmental Science.

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