Model United Nations Program Celebrates 45th Anniversary with Hybrid Conference
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Model United Nations Program Celebrates 45th Anniversary with Hybrid Conference

March 05, 2021

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Winthrop students will debate in person in a masked, socially distanced way, while the delegates from 10 high schools will participate online from around the Carolinas to represent 30 countries. 
  • This year’s theme is “Confronting a Year of Crisis.” 

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – Winthrop University’s Model United Nations program will hold a hybrid gathering for its 45th anniversary March 24-26.
Winthrop students will debate in person in a masked, socially distanced way, while the delegates from 10 high schools will participate online from around the Carolinas to represent 30 countries. This year’s theme is “Confronting a Year of Crisis.”

The keynote speaker is Matthew Burkhart, who is advisor to the Knowledge Management & Governance at Catholic Relief Services. He has worked for Catholic Relief Services for nearly 12 years and holds a graduate degree in international affairs from The Fletcher School at Tufts University.

As the conference celebrates more than four decades of existence, it stands out for this milestone anniversary and for similar programs around the country.  “We are easily one of the oldest simulations in existence,” said Political Science Professor Chris Van Aller, who oversees the Model United Nations class and advises students who run the conference.

Since the start of the program, more than 2,000 Winthrop students and 10,000 high school students have participated in these conferences.

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.

This year’s Secretariat is under the student leadership of Lauren Hill, secretary general; Austin Spencer, director general; and Kennedy Mayers, 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.

For more information, contact Judy Longshaw, news and media services manager, at 803/323-2404 or longshawj@winthrop.edu.

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Last Updated: 3/5/21