June 30, 2024

Columbia alumni leaders gathering in Hong Kong

Columbia Alumni Asia Leaders Weekend 2024

Columbia alumni club leaders around Asia gathered in Hong Kong to discuss regional collaboration and partnerships with the University on June 14-16. 

Asia Leaders gather every 2 years rotating across cities in the region. The 2024 meeting in Hong Kong was the first post-pandemic. Vice President for Alumni Relations and President of the Columbia Alumni Association Donna McPhee ‘89CC met with leaders of clubs from Beijing, Dalian, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Taipei, Thailand, and Vietnam. 

The gathering coincided with a panel on AI with Provost Angela V. Olinto; SEAS Dean Shih-fu Chang; and Dean of the School for Social Work Melissa D. Begg; moderated by Columbia Trustee Shirley Wang. CBS Dean Costis Maglaras introduced the panel.

Asia Leaders shared learnings on club governance, succession planning, and engaging young alumni.  The approach of each club is as diverse as its locations. Clubs in Mainland China are generally large in size with a focus on social gathering and networking. Hong Kong, with a 40+ history of engaging with University leadership, has robust programming across different pillars and scholarship programs. Taipei club’s focus is on athletics and the arts. Thailand is focusing on raising funds for the University. Vietnam has established itself at the nexus of the U.S.-Vietnam relationship in partnership with the University’s Weather East Asia Institute. In addition to driving activities amongst Columbians, clubs in the region are leaders in partnering with other Ivies and U.S. universities to elevate the engagement of top U.S. universities in their respective cities.

A few takeaways from the weekend and where you can help:

  1. A region of focus for Columbia. Leaders shared ideas on designing pan-regional events to broaden the University’s brand in the region and elevate the University’s focus in Asia. If you have an interest in working with Columbia Leaders in the region, please reach out to us at [email protected]!
  2. Giving back. Leaders shared the success of region-specific scholarships in showcasing the impact of local clubs and building closing ties with the University. Hong Kong has had a scholarship established since the 1980s. Singapore continues to raise funds for its SEAS scholarship. Thanks to you, we are almost at our $250,000 goal! Donate here.
  3. Lifting each other up. While clubs in Singapore and the greater China region are relatively large, other clubs in the region are smaller and could benefit from greater support. As we plan for the 2nd half of 2024 and into 2025, please join us in travels to visit the regional clubs such as Thailand and Vietnam to showcase the Columbian spirit and have some fun along the way! 

A notable theme was how established clubs have spawned new clubs in other cities. Vietnam club, for example, is led by Peter Mach, who spent many years in Singapore and Hong Kong. 

If you have an interest in working with Columbia Leaders in the region, please reach out to us at [email protected]!

The Singapore delegation at Asia Leaders Weekend

Shaokai introduces the Singapore leadership team to the attendees

The Hong Kong skyline

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  • Shaokai Fan
    published this page in News 2024-06-30 21:50:17 +0800