News>DLIELC celebrates 60 years of academic excellence
U.S. Air Force Col. Richard D. Anderson (center), Defense Language Institute English Language Center commandant, cuts the ribbon unveiling an International Wall of Fame during DLIELC's Anniversary Celebration May 9 at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland. The new Wall of Fame depicts prominent DLIELC graduates from throughout the years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Johnny Saldivar)
U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Balan R. Ayyar, special assistant to the commander, Air Education and Training Command, addresses the audience at the Defense Language Institute English Language Center's 60th anniversary celebration. Ayyar was the guest speaker for the event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Johnny Saldivar/ released)
U.S. Air Force Col. Richard D. Anderson, Defense Language Institute English Language Center commandant, speaks to the crowd during the DLIELC anniversary celebration. (U.S. Air Force photo by Johnny Saldivar)
by Airman Justine K. Rho
JBSA-Lackland Public Affairs
5/21/2014 - JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas -- The Defense Language Institute English Learning Center commemorates 60 years of dedication to providing world-wide English language training May 9 at the school grounds here.
The two-day 60th anniversary celebration included the annual DLIELC International Festival, an anniversary ceremony, the naming of International Hall, the unveiling of the DLIELC Alumni International Wall of Fame and the American Members of international Goodwill to Others picnic.
"This anniversary provides an opportunity to showcase our important mission and celebrate the hard work of our students and faculty," said Col. Richard D. Anderson, DLIELC Commandant. "DLIELC plays an important role in the security cooperation mission for the Department of Defense and the Department of State. Our primary function here is to teach English, but we also expose our students to American culture, values and way of life."
International students from more than 110 countries enroll in the DLIELC resident training program, Anderson said. Outside of the general English course, they also provide career field specialized courses, train English teachers and provide English language program management courses. The goal of the international festival is to highlight and educate the JBSA community on the significance of the institution while celebrating those who make the mission happen.
The International Festival kicked off the anniversary celebrations.
Foreign military members, from more than 15 countries dressed in their country's military uniform, or customary dress, answered questions and described their country's customs and geography.
The following day, a ceremony honored DLIELC alumni, leadership, faculty and students. The U.S. Air Force Palace Dog Program members, a significant group in DLIELC history, were present and recognized during the service.
To commemorate the 60th anniversary, DLIELC headquarters, building 7535, was named "International Hall." The name was chosen to represent the DLIELC mission and the more than 60,000 international and U.S. students who have attended the center.
Following the naming, guests were directed inside International Hall for the unveiling of the DLIELC Alumni International Wall of Fame. The wall of fame honors 35 international DLIELC graduates that have obtained degrees at United States military war colleges or have taken leadership positions in their respective countries' defense departments.
The annual AMIGO picnic lightheartedly ended the anniversary celebrations. The AMIGO international student sponsor program creates positive relationships between students and their U.S. military and local community volunteers. The picnic underlines the important international relationships built through DLIELC English training programs.
The DLIELC vision statement reads "A world-class English language institute, building bridges through communication and peace through understanding. " The 60th anniversary celebrates the continuation of this vision and honors those that have made this organization possible.