Remarks of Michael A. McRobbie, President, Indiana University
Tsinghua Science Park
1. DEDICATION OF THE INDIANA UNIVERSITY CHINA GATEWAY OFFICE
Thank you, Professor Kennedy.
It is a great pleasure to be back in Beijing to formally open the Indiana University China Gateway Office—a facility that will greatly enhance the already strong relationship between Indiana University and China.
On behalf of Indiana University, I want to thank you all for being here today.
First, I would like to start with some acknowledgements.
I want to extend my deepest thanks to Governor Yi Gang for being with us and for the kind remarks he made earlier. Governor Yi is a great friend to Indiana University, and I had the great privilege of awarding him an honorary doctorate from Indiana University in 2012. The university is honored by his presence here today.
I also want to thank Professor Yuan Si, Vice President and Provost of Tsinghua University, for being here and for the remarks he delivered earlier. IU is deeply grateful to the leaders of Tsinghua for their help in establishing the IU China Gateway Office. We greatly look forward to continuing and expanding our partnership with Tsinghua in the coming years.
I also want to express thanks on behalf of Indiana University to my old friend of over 20 years, Professor Wu Jianping, professor of computer science at Tsinghua, and director of the Network Center and Technical Committee of the Chinese Education and Research Network (CERNET), for the unfailing support that he and his colleagues have given to helping us establish the IU China Gateway Office. We are delighted that the Gateway Office is housed here in the CERNET building.
I also want to express our thanks to Mr. Fan, the property manager of the CERNET building, for his tireless and enthusiastic help in securing space for the Gateway Office and for helping to make arrangements for the necessary renovations.
I also want welcome Rebecca Liu, General Manager of Cook Medical in China. The late Bill Cook, the founder of the Cook Group, was a great friend of Indiana University, and we are delighted that Ms. Liu could join us this afternoon.
I also want to thank the following people for attending this opening:
- Mr. LI Zhiming, Director General of the Center for Science and Technology Development, Ministry of Education;
- Mr. LEI Fengyun, Deputy Director General of the Department of Educational and Cultural Experts, State Administration for Foreign Experts Affairs; and
- the various representatives of the Embassy of the United States where we had a useful meeting this morning with Ambassador Baucus.
3. INDIANA UNIVERSITY AND CHINA
Indiana University’s deep ties with China reach back to the Qing dynasty, when an IU graduate, William Alexander Parsons Martin, worked in Beijing as an interpreter for the American Minister to China. He later taught international law and served as president of the School of Combined Learning here in Beijing.
In 1909, Showin Wetzen Hsu became the first Chinese graduate of IU, and he returned to China to serve in a number of high-level governmental and judicial positions.
More recently, in addition to Tsinghua University, IU has formed strong partnerships with some of the leading educational institutions in China, including Peking University, Zhejiang University, Sun Yat Sen University, the China University of Political Science and Law, Beijing Sports University, and Beijing Normal University.
Indiana University at Bloomington has very strong programs in China studies, which include teaching and research programs in the culture and history of China as well as beginning and advanced courses in Mandarin, Cantonese, and classical Chinese languages.
IU also has one of the few highly prestigious U.S. government-funded Flagship Centers in Mandarin, which are focused on further developing best practices for the teaching of this language.
All these programs are now part of our new School of Global and International Studies, which, incidentally, teaches over 70 foreign languages—more than any other university in the United States.
IU’s Indianapolis campus is home to the Confucius Institute in Indianapolis, which promotes the teaching of Chinese language and culture in central Indiana. I am delighted that Mr. WANG Yongli, deputy director of Hanban, the organization that oversees the Confucius Institutes, is also with us this afternoon.
China also ranks in the top 10 countries where IU students study abroad. And it is the number one study-abroad destination for students from our Indianapolis campus.
At Indiana University, we believe that study and service abroad are important parts of a 21st Century education meant to prepare our students to live and work in a flat world. We are very proud that our Bloomington campus ranks fifth in the United States—among more than 1,200 universities—in terms of the number of students who study abroad.
The Bloomington campus also ranks 10th in the U.S. in terms of the number of international students enrolled.
We had more than 8,000 international students at IU last year. About 3,500 of those students—or 43 percent of our international students—were from China, and they are a vital part of the life of Indiana University. There are also more than 4,000 IU alumni affiliated with China, and, of course, we have welcomed hundreds of Chinese scholars, dignitaries, and students who have visited our campuses.
4. THE INDIANA UNIVERSITY GATEWAY IN CHINA
Given all of these deep connections between China and Indiana University, it is fitting that we open this Gateway Office, which will help us serve our Chinese students, our many Chinese alumni, and our American students studying in China more effectively.
The office will serve as an excellent home base for IU activities in China.
It will support scholarly research and teaching, conferences and workshops, study abroad programs, distance learning initiatives, student recruitment activities, executive and corporate training, alumni events, and much, much more.
The IU China Gateway Office will give IU faculty and students greater access to opportunities in China, and at the same time, it will allow our China-based students, alumni, and university partners to connect directly with IU.
5. FORMAL OPENING
We now come to the central part of today’s event, the formal opening and dedication of the Gateway Office.
Friends and colleagues: by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Trustees of Indiana University, I am honored to formally declare open the Indiana University China Gateway Office.
May all who come here to learn, to teach, to conduct research, and to work together, do so in the spirit of international cooperation and understanding that the IU Gateway Office represents.
Now would you all join me in raising your glasses to the strong and continuing relationship between China and Indiana University and to the many future pathways of partnership that the IU China Gateway Office will help make possible?
7. ALUMNI AWARDS
As I have said on many occasions, IU graduates are among the most dedicated and loyal to their alma mater of any that I have encountered in my extensive travels.
Today it is my honor to celebrate two alumni whose professional accomplishments have brought great distinction to Indiana University, and whose generous support has helped make possible this splendid Gateway Office we have opened today.
7.1 HONORING ESMOND QUEK
Our first honoree is the principal and founder of Ed Bernays Brand Consultancy, Esmond Quek.
Mr. Quek earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing and advertising from IU’s top-ranked Kelley School of Business. He is a leading expert in marketing in China, with two decades of experience working in Asian markets.
Before founding Ed Bernays, Mr. Quek served as the chief executive of Hill & Knowlton China, which he helped to transform into one of China’s best performing communications companies.
He is the first and only foreigner to be appointed to a research fellow position at Fudan University in Shanghai, and he frequently is called upon to speak at events around the world, including for the American Chamber of Commerce and the Canada China Business Council.
In 2007, Mr. Quek was awarded the International Business Award for “Best Executive in Asia;” he is the first Singaporean to win this award—hailed as “the business world’s own Oscars.”
He provides the services of his company pro bono to assist with marketing and communications initiatives of Indiana University in China, and is General Counsel to the Beijing Chapter of the IU Alumni Association.
He has also worked very closely with Indiana University in the establishment of the IU China Gateway Office. His assistance was especially important before IU had established legal representation in China.
Mr. Quek, would you join me at the podium?
Esmond Quek, your distinguished career serves as an example to all of Indiana University’s students of what they might accomplish. You have also, through your service to the IU Alumni Association and through the assistance you have rendered in helping to establish the IU Gateway Office, helped to deepen and strengthen international cooperation and understanding.
On behalf of Indiana University, you have our deepest gratitude.
And so, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the trustees of Indiana University, in recognition of your service, dedication, and leadership over many years, I am pleased to present to you the Indiana University Distinguished International Service Award.
Mr. Quek, would you like to say a few words?
7.2 HONORING VINCENT T. MO
The second alumnus we recognize today is one of China’s leading entrepreneurs: the founder, board chair, and CEO of SouFun Holdings, Limited, Mr. Vincent T. Mo.
Mr. Mo earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering at the South China University of Technology and a master’s degree in business administration from Tsinghua University.
In 1990, he came to Indiana University to study, and earned a master’s degree in economics at IU Bloomington.
In 1994, Mr. Mo joined Teleres, a company that provided information to real estate professionals, serving as the company’s general manager for Asia.
In 1999, he founded SouFun Holdings Limited and serves as its chairman of the board and CEO. SouFun’s web site, which provides a wide variety of real estate information and services, has evolved into China’s leading real estate classified Internet site. The company employs thousands of people and operates in more than 100 cities in China. SouFun is also China’s largest real estate research organization, with more than 200 full-time researchers.
Although his career is still relatively young, Mr. Mo has already received a number of prestigious awards.
He was named Entrepreneur of the Year by the Hua Yuan Science and Technology Association, the premier networking organization for young Chinese professionals.
In 2012, he was named to Forbes China’s Top Philanthropist List.
Mr. Mo, would you please join me at the podium?
Vincent Mo, you have achieved great distinction in your career, and you serve as an outstanding example to all of Indiana University’s students of what they might accomplish.
You have also, through your international career, and through your support for the Indiana University Gateway Office, helped to deepen and strengthen international understanding and cooperation. On behalf of Indiana University, you have our deepest gratitude for all your dedicated efforts on behalf of the university.
To recognize distinction such as yours, the university established the Thomas Hart Benton Medallion. First given in 1986, the bronze medal features the Benton Mural, which is located in the IU Auditorium. The reverse side has the Seal of the University. It symbolizes the aspirations and ideals that are the foundation of the search for knowledge.
So, by the authority vested in me by the Trustees of Indiana University, and in acknowledgement of all that you have done and continue to do for the university, I present to you, Mr. Vincent Mo, the Thomas Hart Benton Medallion.
Mr. Mo, would you like to say a few words?
I want to express my thanks again to all those who have worked so hard to help establish the IU Global Gateway Office which we have formally opened and dedicated today.
Special thanks in particular go once again to Mr. Quek and Mr. Mo for all their contributions to the Gateway Office.
And our most grateful thanks to all of our distinguished guests and speakers who have made this such a memorable occasion.
China is a vital part of Indiana University’s great tradition of international education and engagement, and we are delighted to now have this wonderful office in the heart of Beijing.