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Strengthening Ties In China

May 27, 2008

President John M. Lilley and his wife Gerrie traveled to China for 10 days in April to meet with officials from the City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Baptist University and the University of Macao. Lilley also met with the political head of the separate administrative region of Macao.

"University representatives were eager to explore with us possible ideas for cooperation and collaboration involving Baylor students and faculty," Lilley said upon his return. "Baylor can be very proud of its impressive alumni who are business, higher education and political leaders in China."

The Lilleys were hosted by Dr. James Sai-Wing Wong, a 1960 Baylor graduate who is chairman of Chimney Investments Limited and an honorary professor at the University of Hong Kong. The president also met with Dr. Daniel Chi-Wai Tse, BS '60, MS '62, president emeritus of Hong Kong Baptist University, and professor Richard Ho, acting president of City University of Hong Kong.

"Imperative 11 of Vision 2012 emphasizes global education," Lilley noted. "My trip last year to India and this most recent trip to China have provided platforms from which we can launch student and faculty exchange programs while increasing opportunities for interaction with members of the Baylor family living internationally. China and India are critically important parts of the world, and Baylor needs to be more engaged with both."

Lilley said that the business leaders he spoke with indicated that Chinese companies would be eager to hire Baylor graduates who have not only the requisite skills, but also the strong ethical values taught at a Christian university. The president would like to work with Baylor alumni and others in China to increase the number of internship opportunities available there for Baylor students.

On the flip side, Wong was instrumental in starting a new Baylor program for native Chinese students, based on the model that helped him attend Baylor. Beginning in 2009, a student from Pui Ching Middle School (Wong's alma mater) will receive a scholarship to Baylor, and Wong will provide additional support for the student's living expenses.

Lilley's trip built upon the work of Baylor's Center for International Education, the Baylor Global Network and the independent efforts of a number of Baylor's schools and colleges.

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