41st Annual Model U.N. Celebrates Milestone

April 08, 2017

Quick Facts

bullet point This year's Model U.N. will celebrate Professor Emeritus Melford Wilson's 50 years at Winthrop. The first Model U.N. at Winthrop was held under his direction.
bullet point This year's theme is "Global Action for a Sustainable Future."



ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA - Thirty high schools will participate in the March 29-31 Model United Nations program at Winthrop University, the highest number the program has seen within the last decade. This year's theme is "Global Action for a Sustainable Future."

While last year's program celebrated its 40th anniversary and launched a new fundraising initiative in honor of that distinction, this year reflects another special milestone: Professor Emeritus Melford Wilson's 50 years at the university. Winthrop's first Model U.N. was held on campus under the direction of Wilson. Since then more than 2,000 Winthrop students and 10,000 high school students have participated in these conferences.

There will be a special reception-"$50 for 50"-honoring Wilson's contributions and recognizing his retirement from 7-10 p.m. on March 30 in the Evans Room (DiGiorgio Campus Center). Board of Trustees Chair Karl Folkens '78, the first president of the General Assembly and second student coordinator under Wilson, established the Melford Wilson International Relations Fund in his honor. Register to attend the event. All donations will go toward endowing the Melford Wilson International Relations Fund.

The Model United Nations' participants will come together for the 41st annual conference at Winthrop and will represent 60+ countries during committee meetings and general session debates.

The keynote speaker for the conference is Mark Erwin, former ambassador to the Republic of Mauritius, the Republic of the Seychelles and the Federal Islamic Republic of the Comoros. The Charlotte, North Carolina, resident also served on former President Bill Clinton's Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, which promoted the United States' foreign policy through the State Department.

This year's Secretariat is under the student leadership of Lindsay Gaynor, secretary general; Benjamin Forbes, director general; and Dominique Gadsden, coordinator general. The three work to organize the conference, contact the high schools and work on logistics for the three-day event, as well as coordinate Winthrop students' participation in the conference.

The Winthrop Model U.N. is unique in that it was the first program of its kind to combine participation of college students with high school students. The Winthrop students, who enroll in the United Nations course, are each assigned a country. Throughout the spring semester, the college students study and debate issues commonly discussed in the assemblies of the United Nations.

During the three-day conference, these college students act as delegates to the nation they represent, debating a resolution on Wednesday night and assisting the high school delegates of the same nation as they debate resolutions in committees and plenary sessions throughout the conference.

Here is the Model U.N. schedule:

March 29: Afternoon registration for high school participants and opening ceremony.

March 30: High school students will spend the day in committee sessions debating resolutions that have been previously submitted to the secretary general and the two student coordinators. This year's special committee is the Arab League. The keynote luncheon address by Erwin will be held at 11:30 a.m. in McBryde Hall. The "$50 for 50" reception will take place from 7-10 p.m. in the Evans Room.

March 31: Final committee meetings and closing ceremony.

For more information, please contact Nicole Chisari, communications coordinator, at 803/323-2236 or chisarin@winthrop.edu

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