Building on Occidental College’s century-old ties with China, Occidental President Jonathan Veitch and Chancellor Yingxing Hong of Nanjing University signed an agreement today to promote the exchange of students, faculty, and teaching and research materials.
“An Occidental delegation will be flying to Nanjing next week to explore a possible collaboration on environmental issues with the support of the Henry Luce Foundation, so we will be wasting no time in seeking to deepen our ties with this outstanding university,” said Occidental President Jonathan Veitch, who met with Chancellor Hong in Nanjing last May.
“This agreement will make it possible for Nanjing University, as one of the top-ranked institutions of higher learning in China, to enhance its partnership with Occidental College and promote academic and cultural exchanges among the faculty and students,” said Chancellor Hong, a prominent economist who earlier this week spoke at Brown University.
Occidental’s engagement with China dates back to 1916 when the college entered into its first overseas study program with Hangchow Christian College. Occidental’s first international exchange program began in 1935 with Lingnan University of Guangzhou, which moved to Hong Kong in 1967 – around the same time Occidental developed its Asian Studies curriculum.
Nanjing is one of three Chinese cities where Occidental students currently study overseas, through an agreement with the Council on International Educational Exchange. Almost 40% of Occidental’s international students are from Asia, including the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Henry Tang, Hong Kong’s chief secretary for administration, received an honorary degree from Occidental on May 15, when his son, William, graduated with a degree in economics.
Occidental has had great success in producing Luce Scholars, the nationally competitive fellowship program that provides individualized professional placement in Asia. Daisy Larios ’07 was recently named one of 18 winners of the Luce Scholars program for 2011-12. She is Occidental’s 14th Luce Scholar since the program was initiated in 1974 and the College’s third winner in three years.