President Liebowitz connects with Brandeisians in China

President Ron Liebowitz standing behind a Brandeis banner with several dozen parents of students in China

President Liebowitz met with parents, alumni and incoming students as part of his trip to China

President Ron Liebowitz traveled to Greater China April 4 through 13 for the first time as the president of Brandeis to celebrate the growing relationship between the Brandeis constituents in the country. The official trip spanned three cities and included Brandeis community events; meetings with alumni, parents, and members of the Jewish community; and visits to key cultural sites.

More than 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students from China currently attend Brandeis, adding to the vibrant international student population which represents nearly 100 countries.

Global enthusiasm for Brandeis was reflected in the attendance at three community events in Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. Some 350 Brandeis alumni, parents, and newly admitted students joined President Liebowitz at the events, which included a reception for parents, remarks from the president, and robust Q&A sessions.

“I was especially pleased to see special bonds forming among our alumni, parents of current students, and incoming students and their families,” said President Liebowitz. “I know Brandeis’ reputation in China will continue to grow because of this strong sense of community.”

At the Beijing event, President Liebowitz presented this year’s Asper Award for Global Entrepreneurship to Roberta Lipson ’76, chief executive officer of United Family Healthcare, for her visionary work in transforming healthcare delivery in China. Watch the video. The award, given by the Asper Center for Global Entrepreneurship at Brandeis International Business School, honors individuals who best exemplify the values of entrepreneurial spirit and independent thinking.

The events were also an opportunity to introduce attendees to Brandeis activities in China and Hong Kong. The Alumni Club of Greater China, newly reorganized last year, serves the fastest-growing population of Brandeis alumni, with more than 1,400 undergraduate and graduate alumni residing in Greater China. The regional chapters engage the Brandeis community through local events and conversations via regional Brandeis WeChat groups.

During the 10-day visit, President Liebowitz also gave presentations to the Jewish communities in Beijing and Hong Kong, attended Shabbat services and dinners in those cities, and visited the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum. The museum commemorates a special relationship between China and the Jewish community. During the 1930s, nearly 25,000 Jews fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe took refuge in Shanghai while much of the world was turning them away.

The trip reflected Brandeis’ expanding connection to the region, which will further be celebrated at commencement when Chinese novelist Cixin Liu will receive an honorary degree. Liu’s most famous work, “The Three Body Problem,” was the focus last spring at the Mandel Center for the Humanities’ 2018 Novel Symposium.


Categories: Alumni, International Affairs

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