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May 28, 1998

Friends in Hong Kong, Beijing and Nanjing

The first stop on the Rector's recent trip to Asia was Hong Kong, where Concordia has been steadily building closer ties with the city's successful and enthusiastic alumni.

On this trip, William Yip and Roger Yuen provided particularly valuable advice and support. Discussion included the possibility of establishing a scholarship fund for students from China, including Hong Kong, and an alumni committee to spearhead this effort, headed by Yip.

In a report on the visit, Advancement Director Christopher Hyde said, "Our strategy of regular visits by familiar faces is working. We now can speak quite frankly with each other and work collaboratively."

In Beijing, the Rector and Mary Kay Lowy were official guests at the 100th anniversary of Beijing University. It was a splendid event in the Great Hall of the People, addressed by the president of China and attended by the premier and other senior officials.

Before the celebratory dinner, there was a two-day forum on the beautiful Beijing campus. One hundred university presidents from all over the world discussed "the university of the 21st century," and, the Rector added later, the problems of the university of the late 20th century, a subject on which there was remarkable unanimity.

Among other visits and events, including a reception by the Canadian ambassador, the Concordia visitors were able to make contact once again with Dr. Wei Yu, a distinguished educator who received an honorary doctorate from Concordia in 1988. She is now China's vice-minister of education.

The trip to Nanjing was for the Canadian Chinese University Presidents Meeting, at which the keynote speaker was Concordia's Dean of Arts and Science Martin Singer, a specialist in Chinese-Canadian academic relations.

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