Although they live almost 7,000 miles away, alumni in Hong Kong, China and Taipei, Taiwan are enthusiastic about engaging with their alma mater, UMass Lowell. In addition to an alumni meeting in Hong Kong, about 30 alumni gathered for a reunion in Taipei in November.
“This great beginning will help us build more consistent relationships with the over 30 UMass Lowell alumni who live in Hong Kong and the almost 200 who live in Taipei, along with parents of current students residing there,” says Executive Director of Major Gifts Mark Reimer, who recently traveled to Hong Kong and then headed to Taiwan to join Dean of Engineering John Ting, and three UMass Lowell professors: Edward Chen, Francis Lai, and TzuYang Yu. The group traveled to Asia to forge new academic partnerships with local universities and to reach out to local alumni.
During Reimer’s visit to Hong Kong, he met with five alumni who graduated between 1971 and 1976, including Louis Shih '72, Bill Lo ’73, Noel Wong ’74, Stephen Li ’75, and Patrick Lau ’76. The Hong Kong alumni agreed to help form a local alumni committee.
Following their luncheon, Shih was inspired to reach out to 100-year-old Yun Cheng Wang, who had attended Lowell Textile Institute, and presented Wang with gifts from the University. Wang has been managing director at Nanyang Cotton Mills, Ltd./Nanyang Group for over 60 years and served as a key advisor to the Hong Kong government for 40 years. “Mr. Wang is among our oldest and most accomplished alumni, and he is still working at age 100,” says Reimer. “We were delighted to receive assistance from Louis Shih to re-engage with a graduate whose University experience dates back over eighty years.”
After Reimer’s visit to Hong Kong, he joined the UMass Lowell professors in Taiwan for a visit to Grand Dynasty Industrial (GDI), a company headed by alumnus Lawrence Lin, Ph.D. ’89. Among other products, GDI manufactures iPhone and MacBook Air cases and parts for U.S. companies like Bosch, Snap-on, and Specialized.
The trip culminated in an alumni reunion in Taipei that nearly 30 alumni attended. “The enthusiasm and fondness for UMass Lowell was inspiring,” says Reimer. A new Taiwan alumni committee was formed during the reunion, and alumnus Tony Hou ’04 was elected president.
“We are excited about the potential for new partnerships and alumni engagement in Taipei and Hong Kong,” says Lily Mendez-Morgan, executive director of alumni relations. “The meetings that transpired during this trip show that there is strong potential for growth.”