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For Immediate Release
Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013

Woodcock Lecture to welcome prominent U.S.-China diplomats

      Rochester, Mich. – The Oakland University community will spotlight commercial and educational ties between the U.S. and China when it hosts the 20th annual Ambassador Leonard Woodcock Seminar on Thursday, Nov. 7, in Meadow Brook Hall.

      The event will be feature lectures from Ambassador Michael W. Michalak and Consul General Zhao Weiping.

      A Detroit native and OU alumnus, Michalak formerly served as the U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam and has worked in the U.S. Department of State for more than 30 years.

      Zhao is the Chinese Consul General to Chicago and has held positions in the Chinese Embassy in Canada and Australia. Prior to his current role, he served as the Chinese Ambassador to the Independent State of Samoa.

      In addition, Dr. Louay Chamra, dean of Oakland University's School of Engineering and Computer Science, and Dr. William Skilling, superintendent of Oxford Community Schools, will highlight the growing educational exchanges between China and Oakland County.

      Representatives from the Detroit Regional Chamber, Comerica Bank, Yingyi NA and the Chinese Association of Greater Detroit, and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation will also speak at the event.

      "The annual seminars have contributed to Oakland University's regional prominence as a place where candid and respectful dialogue between people from both sides of the Pacific can fruitfully occur," said Dr. Alan Epstein, special instructor of political science.

      "The Woodcock Legacy Seminar will celebrate 20 years of such interactions and reaffirm its commitment to continue evolving and remaining a relevant forum for nurturing constructive ties between the U.S. and China."

      The seminar is presented in partnership with Automation Alley, the Detroit Chinese Business Association, the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. Additional support is provided by OU's School of Engineering and Computer Science and Butzel Long.

      Established in 1993, the Ambassador Leonard Woodcock Legacy Seminar honors the former president of the United Auto Workers and first United States Ambassador to the People's Republic of China.

      The series is intended to further Sino-American cultural, economic and political relations through enhanced mutual understanding and engagement between officials, business leaders, educators and students and the local community.

      Free and open to the public, the seminar will begin at 1 p.m. and will be followed by a reception. Reservations are requested. For additional information, or to make reservations, contact Woodcock Legacy Co-chairman Mel Gilroy at

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University Communications and Marketing
Oakland University, 100 Anibal House, 2200 North Squirrel Road, Rochester, MI 48309-4401
Oakland University is a doctoral, research-intensive university located in Oakland County, Michigan. The university has 139 bachelor's degree programs and 127 graduate degree and certificate programs. dedicated to delivering a distinctive undergraduate experience that is complemented by the strength of its graduate offerings and research accomplishments, Oakland University is organized into the College of Arts and Sciences, the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine and the Schools of Business Administration, Education and Human Services, Engineering and Computer Science, Health Sciences, Nursing, and The Honors College. Visit Oakland University on the web at