The Center For

Gl0bal Understanding

UnderstandingOur World...

Our Mission

The Mission of CGU is to promote cultural awareness and understanding here and abroad

In The Beginning...

Originally established as the Lubbock International Cultural Center, Inc., we are now doing business as the Center for Global Understanding. Our commitment and focus remains on promoting local, regional and international educational opportunities.

Come Celebrate With Us!

South Plains College 18th Annual

Scholarship Gala Promotion

Our Mission:

Promoting cultural awareness

and understanding here and abroad.

Our Vision

Our Purpose

What We Support

The Center for Global Understanding will...


Strive to increase community engagement through speakers, seminars, by adding value through addressing topics of interest.


Develop partnerships with the various international communities represented in our region.


Assist in developing and support speakers and educational events hosted by other organizations and entities in our region with shared interests in cultural awareness.


Strive to grow our financial capacity to contribute to our community through fund raising.


Engage international communities in West Texas cultural events (such as barbeques, barn dances, etc).


Our Purpose:

CGU’s purpose is to foster an understanding of different cultures while building relationships with and among the peoples of the world.

Our Mission/Values:

Promoting cultural awareness and understanding here and abroad.

The Center for Global Understanding fund projects that fulfill the Center’s mission of promoting cultural awareness and understanding here and abroad.




The Center for Global Understanding funds international education programs that reach kindergarten – 12th grade students and teachers of the South Plains through a variety of global educational activities.




The Center for Global Understandingg provides funding to support the cultural organizations in West Texas.


Jay Harris was born in Stephenville, Texas May 21, 1918.  His family later moved to Lubbock after his father was advised by Charles A. Guy, editor of what would become the Lubbock Avalanche Journal, that Lubbock was a fine place to live.  This was perhaps the first time that Jay's life was entwined with the AJ.  In Seventh Grade, Jay broke his arm playing sandlot football, and at the prompting of his teacher began writing a classroom newspaper. This began Jay's introduction to the newspaper business.


Jay was so successful with the classroom newspaper that he was recommended to become editor of the Lubbock High School Westerner World newspaper. After high school, Jay was awarded a four year scholarship in journalism to Texas Tech University. Upon graduation, Jay and three friends took a road trip deep into Mexico. This was his first introduction to other cultures, a subject that through journalism became a life's focus.


After graduation, he took a job at the Lubbock Avalanche Journal as sports editor and then moved to the news department.  At the outbreak of World War II, Jay joined the Army Air Force and served at the South Plains Army Air Field as a journalist, writing stories about pilot training and the men and women stationed there for both local, regional and the hometown newspapers of the glider pilots and support personnel who trained there.  Jay met his wife Laura Louise while serving in the Army.


After the war, Jay moved back to the Lubbock Avalanche Journal as a sports reporter where he won many awards.  He then became news editor, covering the rapid growth of Lubbock and Texas Tech University.  He held the position of editor for 46 years.


Jay retired from the Avalanche Journal and was named as Editor Emeritus.  Soon after, Bob Norris, the new publisher, asked Jay to represent the AJ by undertaking extensive travel and report on the world for the citizens of West Texas.  Along with his beloved wife Laura Louise, also avidly interested in world affairs and cultures, he traveled the world from South Africa to Europe, from the Middle East to Japan, reporting on the events and major personalities of the 1960's, 70's and 80's.  Jay met many world leaders during his travels, including Mikhail Gorbachev.


It became Jay's passion to communicate the diversity and wonder of the world to the people of the South Plains, and it was his belief that this offered an early opportunity, in the days before cable TV and the internet, to begin to understand the world as a place with divergent cultures, that sooner or later, we as Americans, Texans, and citizens of Lubbock would have to deal with. The mission of international education was going to become the most important aspect of this new world. An informed citizenry in America, Jay believed, was a must for our survival in the emerging globalized world.


Jay always viewed Lubbock as the "Jewel of the South Plains", and envisioned an International Cultural Center as a major addition to that jewel.  In the late 1980's and early 1990's his vision took hold, and through tremendous efforts by Jay and many other individuals, in 1996 the International Cultural Center of Texas Tech University became a reality--a reality that has opened windows on the world for the students, teachers and all people of West Texas.  He died on February 26, 2006. His life was celebrated by family and friends, and his legacy lives on at the International Cultural Center at Texas Tech University.

Calvin Davis, J.D.



Kyle Carruth

Vice President


Reynald Lops



Bobby McCloud




Ryan Gibbs


Barbara Gilley


Carl Isett

Gulrez Khan “Gus”

Martha Morales

Sukant Misra


Steve Presley


Joe Scarborough


Roshan Bhakta

Rebecca Ramirez


Dr. Roger Wolcott


Center for Global Understanding 2019 Board of Directors


The Center for Global Understanding pursues grant-making opportunities that fulfil our mission to promote cultural awareness through education and participation with various cultural, arts and educational institutions in West Texas.


For adequate consideration of funding requests, please complete the  Grant Request form

with all pertinent information related to your project.  Instructions for additional project narratives are included on page two of the Grant Request.


Completed Grant Requests may be submitted to with the subject line noting “GRANT REVIEW”.  Applicants may also submit the request and all pertinent materials via mail to:


Center for Global Understanding


P.O. Box 30

Lubbock, TX 79408


The Center’s Board of Directors will review the completed funding request within 30 days of submission and will provide a response within six weeks.  Any questions or concerns during the review period can be forwarded to

Additionally, applicants may contact the Center by phone at 806-535-4245.


If requested funding is approved, the Center requires that a Grant Report be completed within twelve months of funding date.  Instructions for adequate reporting can be found here Grant Report

Grant and Sponsorship Requests

The Stories

  • The Need

    The Need

    An undergraduate student from Ghana needed funding for tuition and fees.  He is an engineering student with a 3.7 GPA, works for the Daily Toreador, works as an RA in a dorm, is an alter helper at his church.  His family was the victim of a West African scam who stole their money.  The young person is the type of person who has exceptional intellectual and interpersonal skills and a huge doses of human decency.  Several Texas Tech offices stepped up with scholarships but another stipend was need.


    The Center for Global Understanding stepped up and provided the funds necessary so he could stay at Tech.


    Here is his thank you note:


    I write to express my most profound thanks to the entire Center for Global Understanding Executive Board for your unflinching support and generosity in sponsoring my education this past semester.


    My studies continue here at this prestigious university and this past semester went by quite fast.  It started on a difficult note but with determination and persistence, I am happy to announce that I ended the semester with a 4.0 GPA.


    I promise on being a good student and to uphold and externalize all the values that the Center for Global Understanding stands for.


    Thank you,



  • Sowoon Arts and Heritage

    Second Annual International Arts and Culture Symposium

    March 27, 2014


    The Center for Global Understanding partially funded this symposium whose theme of traditional music and dance which exposed the audience to both an in-depth understanding of Irish music and dance as well as Korean performances, demonstrating the cultural significance of music and dance over 5,000 years of history.

    The presentations were all of very high quality.


    Dr. Mary Saathoff, President and CEO of the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra, commented, “This was an EXCELLENT overall event.  Artistically, the bringing together of two cultures was pure genius, and increased your attendance with those who already knew of Chris Smith and his Celtic group.  Having Bill Westney and David Cho was also a good idea from the perspective of good speakers and those who know their subject well and also have their own following in the community.  All speakers were very professional, and it was such an honor for the Ambassador to be there.”


    The attendees thoroughly enjoyed the Irish and Korean traditional music and dance.  Those surveyed said that they would attend other cultural symposiums of a similar nature.

  • Study in Italy

    Study In Italy

    August 1, 2015


    Dear Joe Scarborough and the members of the CGU,

         First and foremost, I would like to say THANK YOU. I cannot express how much this program has benefited me as a singer, and I’ve learned so much about the Italian culture and way of life. It is an experience that I will never forget, and I am incredibly grateful and humbled that you chose to help me on this unforgettable journey.


         Our program took place in the small town named Mondavio, located on the east side of Italy in the Marche region. Population: about 4,000. The town is situated on many hills and elevated terrain, and the main attraction of the city is the fortress that was built to protect the town in the 1400’s. Every view looking out from a distance was grandiose, with rolling hills of different greens, and the occasional patches of yellow hills, which we later found were beautiful sunflower fields. And if the sky was clear, off in the distance you could see the Adriatic Sea, about a 30 minute drive from the town. The benefit (and I think the purpose) of organizing a program in such a small place is that NO ONE spoke English, and it forced us to really concentrate and soak up the language.


         Every student was placed with a host home, and this was another language challenge that we had to face. It’s interesting how much you try to gesture and use charades when you are first trying to communicate without knowing the language!! My host parents were Stefania and Riccardo, and they had two children, Cecilia, who was 12, and Rico, 15. They lived out in the country (about a 15-20 minute walk from town), and grew everything that we ate. And we ate. So. Much. Food. They aren’t kidding about their pasta! Upon arrival, we also learned that Italians serve their dinner in stages. First, they would bring out some kind of pasta dish. After this, it would be a variety of things, like sausage/ meat, tomatoes with mozzarella and olive oil, breaded zucchini, etc. At the end of the meal, they would typically have a salad or some kind of fruit, because they believe that it helps aid digestion. My favorite that they would always have: cocomero (watermelon!!!).


         Every Monday-Friday, we had a variety of classes and lessons that we attended. Every day we had 3 hours of Italian in the morning, which was extremely beneficial in communication and comprehension. Our teacher was Matteo, and he only spoke English when we wanted to know what a word meant. Other than that, always Italian! In the afternoons, we did our various music lessons and coaching’s. I worked with so many talented teachers and coaches from great music schools in the US. We had diction courses in which we worked on the pronunciation and sounds of the Italian language, and further studied this with different arias and scenes that we sang in. I also had two 30 minute coaching’s with esteemed vocal coaches every week, and two hour long voice lessons from a voice teacher. The voice teacher that I worked with was incredible, and I feel like I improved so much with his wisdom and teachings. (Warning: singer lingo ahead) My resonance both in my upper and lower ranges have improved, and he has helped me manage to somewhat smoothly sing through both my 1st and 2nd passaggi of my voice. In simple terms, this is a huge step in the improvement of my vocal technique and singing!


         During the four week period here we had two solo concerts and two scenes concerts. Our solo concerts were repertoire that we got to pick ourselves, and our scene music was assigned by the teachers in the program. During the evenings we would stage our scenes, and we learned valuable tools about staging and working collaboratively with other singers.


         If there was one thing that wasn’t positive during this whole experience, it was the weather. It was excruciatingly HOT! Apparently there was a huge heat wave in Africa that made it across Italy, and the entire country suffered. The last time they had this kind of heat was 70 years ago! Oh, and the Italians don’t believe in moving air, they think that it can cause illness. So we had about 3 weeks of 95-100 degree heat with NO air conditioners!! It was miserable, but luckily I bought a cheap fan that helped me survive, and wet towels over my head and legs kept me cool at night. There was never a moment that the Americans weren’t sweating!


         This program only lasted a month, but will benefit me for a lifetime. Of all the operas that are performed throughout the world, 8 of the top 10 are performed in the Italian language. This program has given me a huge step in grasping the intricate language and continuing to study and perform it.  I was also able to experience a new culture that is so different from mine, and that has made me a more educated individual that has an appreciation for new and foreign things. An opera singers dream is to have a career in Europe, and learning about these new cultures and diverse ways of life help me toward that career goal. Thank you again for making this educational adventure possible!





  • SPC College

    South Plains College

    December 9, 2015


         Jay Harris was the News Editor for the Lubbock Avalanche Journal for 46 years.  After retiring, he traveled the world reporting on world events for the newspaper.  It became Jay's passion to communicate the diversity and wonder of the world to the people of the South Plains.  He believed that this offered an early opportunity, in the days before cable TV and the Internet, to begin to understand the world as a place with divergent cultures. The mission of international education was going to become an important aspect of this new world.

    Jay always viewed Lubbock as the "Jewel of the South Plains", and envisioned an International Cultural Center as a major addition to that jewel.  In the late 1980's and early 1990's, his vision took hold and through tremendous efforts by Jay and many other individuals and Texas Tech University, the International Cultural Center of Texas Tech University became a reality in 1996.  This reality has opened windows on the world for the students, teachers, and all people of West Texas.


         The CGU Board of Directors wanted to find a mechanism that would allow for the distribution of $100,000 of the Jay Harris trust gift to rural students in the South Plains for the study of courses in the areas that Jay Harris embraced:  history, government and political science.

    In coordination with South Plains College, we will fund Dual Credit scholarships that will be offered to students in the 51 school districts that Region 17 Educational Service Center serves.  We also learned that there are 1,036 students enrolled in the first level history courses.  South Plains College advised CGU that there are many students who cannot enroll in a class because they cannot afford the tuition.

    CGU will fund a $100,000 endowment that will generate 5% in earnings a year, or $5,000.  Each class costs $210 per semester.  This will fund 24 scholarships per year.


          South Plains College reported that 85%-90% of the students who take Dual Credit classes go on to college.  By offering these scholarships to economically disadvantaged students, we can foster the idea of college for a first generation student.

The Center for Global Understanding - Lubbock International Cultural Center, Inc.

Post Office Box 30

Lubbock, Texas 79408-0030




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© 2014 The Center for Global Understanding. All rights reserved.

Lubbock International Cultural Center, Inc

PO Box 30 • Lubbock, TX 79408 • 806-535-4245

A 501 (c)(3) non-profit corporation

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