Chinese Visitors to Study Business at Baylor

Dec. 21, 1999

by Alan Hunt

A group of 48 graduate students from China are studying economics and accounting for the next four weeks at Baylor University's Hankamer School of Business as part of their coursework toward an MBA degree.

The visitors are employed by the Shandong Electric Power Company (SEPCO) in the city of Jinan in Shandong province, China. The company underwrites the cost of the trip as part of its policy of encouraging employees to further their business education, according to their leader, Lu Qiang, vice director of SEPCO's science and education department.

Qiang, speaking through an interpreter, said the Shandong Electric Power Company employs about 200,000 workers and has more than 50 subsidiary companies. He said the company is ranked sixth in management effectiveness and profits among China's large state-owned enterprises.

The visit is being hosted by Baylor's McBride Center for International Business, which is directed by Dr. Stephen Gardner, professor of economics and holder of the Herman Brown Professorship in Economics. Gardner said the Chinese visitors completed an intensive course in English before their departure for the United States. He said the economics classes at Baylor will be taught by Thomas Odegaard, lecturer in economics, and the accounting classes by Betsy Willis, lecturer in accounting.

The visitors also will attend English classes taught by Frank and Libby McAnear, missionaries-in-residence at the Baptist Student Ministries, who have made a number of extended visits to China.

Gardner and Dr. Terry Maness, dean of the Hankamer School of Business, welcomed the Chinese visitors after they had been taken on a walking tour of the campus. One member of the group, Zhang Peng Hui, a 28-year-old member of the SEPCO research institute, said they hope their extended stay in Waco will acquaint them with American and Texas culture. Another group member, observing the attire of a passing student, wanted to know where he might be able to purchase a pair of cowboy boots. "Perhaps I would also like to take home a cowboy hat," he added.

The last day of classes at Baylor for the Chinese students will be Jan. 19. Gardner said their visit was arranged through Omega Institute, a San Antonio-based organization providing educational and training services around the world. For more information call Gardner at

(254) 710-6147.

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