University of Delaware
Taking in the views at China's Great Wall are (from left) Rick Andrews, deputy dean, Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics; Harry Wang, accounting and MIS; Domenico Grasso, provost; Nancy Brickhouse, deputy provost; Nancy Guerra, director, Institute for Global Studies; George Watson, dean, College of Arts and Sciences; and Jianguo Chen, director, Confucius Institute at UD. 

UD in China

University delegation strengthens ties with alumni during trip to Beijing


1:30 p.m., April 1, 2014--BEIJING -- At a reception in the Olympic Park section of Beijing, local University of Delaware alumni socialized with one another, as well as with prospective students and their parents and with UD administrators, faculty and staff.

Attendees were surprised by a special guest – Joe Chen, a 1992 UD graduate who is the founder, chairman and CEO of one of China’s top websites, Renren Inc. For a UD Messenger article about Chen, click here.

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Chen was born in China and emigrated with his parents as a teenager. He arrived in the United States speaking no English but quickly learned, enrolled at UD and later graduated with a degree in physics.

Chen shared some nuggets of wisdom, discussing one habit he believes contributes to his success – lifelong learning. He suggested that young people set aside an hour each day to read something that interests them but is not entirely entertaining.

“I think that will separate two equally talented people,” he said.  “Every year you progress one percent more than your counterparts.”

Chen said he reads about topics such as philosophy and political science, topics he says are a component of “social technology,” an area that is thin in China.

“I think we need a lot of innovation in social technology. In this country we are really, really good at educating engineers and scientists. We are good at high technology,” he said. “How do we organize our economic activities? How do we make decisions collectively? I think there is a lot we can learn from Western societies.”

The day’s festivities also included the viewing of a short video on UD narrated in Chinese, a VIP dinner with Chen and UD administrators and the presentation of a banner to Provost Domenico Grasso.

Alums Tainming (Luke) Yang and Haimeng Jia created and presented a banner done in calligraphy. The text read, “Only when a man has deep virtue can he accomplish great things.”

While in Beijing, the UD delegation toured landmarks including the Great Wall of China and a hutong, one of several historic walled neighborhoods of narrow alleys, houses and courtyards, and were treated to a traditional Peking duck dinner hosted by Yan Sheng, a prominent businessman and proud father of a recent graduate.

UD Provost Domenico Grasso was interviewed for an article that appeared in the People's Daily.

Next stop -- Xiamen.

Dispatch filed from Beijing by Andrea Boyle Tippett

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