by Lisen Tammeus // Spring 2013
Alumni in Beijing had an opportunity to hear campus updates and visit with Chancellor Leo Morton during the October 2012 Edgar Snow Symposium. UMKC’s Edgar Snow Memorial Foundation, which co-hosts the biennial symposium with the Chinese Society for People’s Friendship Studies, led a delegation with Chancellor Morton to China.
The Snow Foundation, named for the Kansas City journalist who is considered the first westerner to open doors to 20th century China, celebrated the 30th anniversary of the symposium. Scholars, students and leaders in China, as well as from Kansas City, attended. Held at Beijing University, the symposium featured speakers and panelists presenting topics ranging from medicine to innovation and environmental issues. Morton and Henry W. Bloch School of Management Dean Teng-Kee Tan joined Chinese university leaders on a panel focused on higher education.
More than 140 people attended a reception for alumni and friends the last night of the symposium. Morton welcomed the attendees, who included UMKC alumni as well as prospective UMKC students in China. Seven UMKC Enactus (formerly Students in Free Enterprise) team members attended the symposium and the alumni and friends reception.
While in China, UMKC Enactus students provided forums on “American Business Practices and Culture” to students at three top Chinese universities. In addition, UMKC School of Law alumni launched a special effort at the reception to endow a scholarship in the name of the late Professor Pat Randolph, who had strong ties to China.
The Snow Foundation works to advance the legacy of Edgar Snow by cultivating deeper and enduring relationships between people from the U.S. and China through cultural, economic and educational collaboration. Nan Zhang, a 2006 graduate of the School of Computing and Engineering who attended the symposium and the UMKC alumni reception, recalled her time at UMKC fondly.
She recited the words of a visiting American scholar she’d heard at Beijing Polytechnic University prior to her own study abroad experience that had stuck with her: “We’re more alike than we are not.”