Years later, Pete Stahl's memory is fuzzy. He racks his brain, trying to conjure up at least a few particulars, but he finally gives up.
He can't call to mind what he was doing at his desk, though he guesses he was working on a manuscript. Morning or afternoon, he can't remember. He doesn't even recall the month.
All Stahl does remember about that day in 2004 is that opportunity came knocking at his door.
"I was an associate professor, maybe even an assistant professor, and some guy from Nepal shows up in my office," Stahl says. "I get to know this guy and the more I get to know him, the more connections I realize he has with the academics in Nepal.
This chance encounter between Stahl and Mohan Dangi, who, himself, can't recall the details-he doesn't remember where he heard Stahl's name or why he happened to be in Laramie that day- turned out to be the springboard for what has become one of the University of Wyoming's most vibrant international partnerships.
As part of its ongoing efforts to raise global awareness-among students, faculty, staff and residents of Wyoming -UW has formed deep and broadranging relationships with 11 universities in seven countries that complement the university's educational mission.
"Our international bilateral relationships are an essential component for sustainable internationalization," says Anne Alexander, director of UW International Programs, housed in the heart of campus at the Cheney International Center. "When we have a relationship that has active exchanges of students, scholarly collaboration, collaborative internships and opportunities for service learning focused on UW's academic strengths, we are able to create long-term partnerships that advance the frontiers of knowledge and provide vast opportunities for international access."
The list of UW's Strategic International Partners includes two universities in Shanghai, China-the most populated city in the world's most populated country-as well as schools in Australia, France, Germany, Guatemala and Russia.
The influence of UW's relationship with Tribhuvan and Kathmandu universities is obvious on the Laramie campus, where the Nepali student population has grown from but eight in the fall of 2006 to 63 last fall. Only China, with 192 students, has a greater international student presence at UW.
The influx helped sprout an active student group, the Friends of Nepal, which regularly holds events to promote Nepali culture and strengthen friendly relations among Nepali and other students, faculty and staff.
"Wyoming is a destination to them," Dangi says, proudly. "We've opened the door between Nepal and the University of Wyoming, and that's what I wanted to do."