UI alumni to make historic trip to China

The Alumni Association Board of Directors has organized a trip to Beijing and Shanghai for 51 alumni ambassadors and friends to meet with alumni who live in China and visit some of the firms and universities that have partnerships with the U of I.

As a means of strengthening ties with University of Illinois graduates in China, the UI Alumni Association Board of Directors has organized a trip for 51 alumni ambassadors and friends to visit Beijing and Shanghai. Nov. 3-10, participants will meet with resident alumni, and visit some of the firms and universities that have partnerships with the U of I.

“This Alumni Summit in China is a historic occasion for the Alumni Association,” says President and CEO Loren R. Taylor. “Never before have so many of our alumni leaders visited another country as one delegation to serve as true good will ambassadors for the University and the Association. One of our board members, Bo Zhang, lives in China, and has been instrumental in helping to plan and organize this.”

U of I has had a distinguished reputation and history of engagement with China for more than a century.  Thousands of Chinese students have attended the University, and many of those alumni continue to have a strong affinity for their Alma Mater. Today, there are self-formed alumni chapters in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, as well as many other cities and countries around the world, who work with the Alumni Association to engage graduates locally for professional and social networking and in support of the University.

In 2011, the UI Alumni Association Board of Directors issued a resolution emphasizing the growing importance of international outreach to alumni, with a specific focus on China as a global center of interest for U.S. higher education. The Association’s efforts are intended to complement the University’s overall aim to expand its linkages with China through educational and research partnerships.

“Our alumni are throughout the world, but they’re also part of the U of I family,” Taylor says. “We hope this visit helps underscore our commitment to international outreach and builds awareness of the international stature of the University.”

While in China, the group will attend receptions with the Illinois Alumni Clubs of Beijing and Shanghai. In addition, they will visit Tsinghua University in Beijing, which engages in collaborative partnerships with the U of I in multiple disciplines.

The travelers include several current and former members of the Association’s governing board from each of the three UI campuses in Chicago, Urbana-Champaign and Springfield, as well as a student, a former faculty member, other alumni and friends, and staff. Corporate sponsorship to help support the visit has been provided by the University of Illinois Employees Credit Union.

Please visit www.uiaa.org in mid-November for photos from the UI Alumni Association’s historic trip to China.




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