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Letter to the Editor: Parsons deserves heartfelt gratitude

Thursday, December 7, 2006

To the editor:Although Dr. Adelaide Heyde Parsons will long be remembered for her contributions to English as a second language, her service as director of the International Center at Southeast Missouri State University has gained for Parsons a deserved local and international reputation. Internationalism at the university will be the poorer with the retirement of this champion. Parsons was always a tireless and outspoken supporter of those of us on the faculty involved either in professional activities abroad or developing student/faculty exchange programs. She deserves the university's and our heartfelt gratitude.

On a more personal level, Parsons should be recognized for her contributions to international peace and understanding in bringing foreign students to Southeast Missouri. As a result of her role in bringing students from around the world to study at Southeast Missouri State University, those of us lucky enough to serve as host families have been enriched.

Like many area residents who have enjoyed these programs, my husband and I can boast many more "children" and a far larger family than otherwise we would have had. In our case, for example, we have a Turkish "son" and his new family living in Texas, we have a Colombian "daughter" and her new family living in St. Louis, and we have a Costa Rican "daughter" who's family we visit regularly on our trips to Costa Rica. All of them we love dearly and cherish greatly.

For enriching our lives and enriching the region, we offer Parsons our most sincere appreciation.

KATHY CONWAY, Cape Girardeau