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‘Kingdom culture’: ORU seeks an ‘uplifting spirit’ for Culture Fest 2023

ORU Marketing
The most recent outdoor Culture Fest was in 2021; this year, it’s making a comeback on the lawn between Claudius and EMR.

Culture Fest 2023 hopes to bring back the outdoor celebration of global diversity held annually at Oral Roberts University, showcasing choreographed dances, musical performances and unique flavors.


Instead of what was envisioned, last year’s Culture Fest was abruptly postponed and held indoors due to the death of Eugene Quayor, a highly involved international student who lost his life in a car accident just days prior to the event. 


“It was devastating, and so it wasn’t as we expected,” said Tatiana Goertzen, the marketing coordinator of the International Student Center. “This year, we hope to honor him but have a more uplifting spirit in representing everybody.”


In comparison to the usual tradition of emphasizing a specific culture, Culture Fest 2023 wishes to have a broader approach by adopting the slogan that all nations are worthy of being seen, heard and represented.


“Years prior, we had focused on the islands or a continent such as Africa, so this year, we decided to do Kingdom Culture,” said Goertzen.


Greg Hoff, the new associate vice president of International Student Relations and overseer of this year’s event, wanted “a theme that is higher and pulls together everything.”


The lawn will be filled with stands of food from all around the world, a space to enjoy a talent show by international students, a flag parade, a fashion show and continental booths to learn and appreciate each nation represented, and some other surprises, Hoff said.


With the largest class of international students ever registered – representing 129 nations, according to International Admissions, the upcoming Culture Fest 2023 will “celebrate the global vibrancy and cultural diversity treasured at Oral Roberts University,” said Hoff.


Culture Fest will begin at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday on the lawn between Claudius and EMR dorms.


“If you are the only person from your country, there are very few of you, or you are a big group, it is your moment to shine,” said Goertzen. “We want to get to know you, we want to see you, even if you’re not an international student, even if you’re a U.S. student, you’re welcome. We love you.”


Volunteers are still needed for the event. Anyone interested can sign up at the International Student Center office in the Graduate Center, next to Hava Java.

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About the Contributor
Josué Ariza Puerta
Josué Ariza Puerta, Staff Writer
Passionate about the world of arts, I am a Writing major with a concentration in Journalism and minoring in Graphic Design. My other interests include cinema and a good Colombian morning coffee.

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