International community celebrates milestone
Radford University's international community burst to life on April 16 at the 25th annual International Banquet.
Hundreds of students and alumni enjoyed an evening of colorful performances and an impressive spread of food representative of dozens of different countries and cultures.
The elaborate event is coordinated each year by the International Student Affairs Council (ISAC). The group formed in the early 1990s to promote diversity and enrich the campus.
"That year forward, it just grew and grew," recalled Teresa King, assistant director of International Education. "Every year, they set the bar higher than the year before."
Students began preparing food for the banquet early in the morning. By the time dinner was served, the smell of curries, flavorful soups and sauces and decadent desserts filled the entire Muse Banquet Hall.
The guest speaker at this year's event was Rookmin Maharaj '96, a former ISAC student.
"Being a member of such a unique group on campus instilled in me the awareness and appreciation for the world, not through travel brochures, videos and books, but through friends and their life stories," she told the audience. "As our intricate web of experiences, goals, dreams and friendships got even more interwoven, the bond of belonging to this group strengthened."
Throughout the evening, there were several special song, dance and fashion performances, and numerous trips to the food line for seconds and thirds.
"The banquet was extraordinary," said ISAC co-president Bismark Amofah, a junior chemistry major. "The food was absolutely fantastic. The diversity of our chefs perfectly reflected the food that was made. With each bite that was taken, I felt a connection with each culture that influenced the food."