Like most students about to finish high school, Albert Chan was intensively preparing for Hong Kong’s college entrance examination in 1971. Yet the posted notice for a United Board scholarship to International Christian University caught his eye, and his successful application changed the course of his university and professional career. Professor Chan served as president of Hong Kong Baptist University from 2010 to 2015, and he believes that “without that scholarship, my career would be different,”
“ICU was so small that students really knew their professors well,” Professor Chan said in an interview. Because of the rapport he developed with a professor, he was able to start laboratory research in his freshman year, which likely would not have happened until his senior year in a more traditional university setting. Coursework and research in chemistry, his major, prepared him well for graduate school at the University of Chicago, but ICU’s liberal arts tradition also has had a lasting impact on him. “Chemistry was my major, but I was exposed to many other subjects,” he pointed out. “It was easy to talk to professors and students in other disciplines at ICU – the advantage is that you get general knowledge of many things. That knowledge from a broad course of study is very useful to me today, as I can understand what is on the minds of students in many disciplines at Baptist University.”
Professor Chan sees areas where Baptist University shares values with the United Board. “Both institutions value Christian education and believe in whole person education,” he finds. “In addition to acquiring knowledge, we want students to develop into good citizens and leaders.”
(First published in The People of Our Mission, 2012)
To read about other individuals who received United Board support to attend ICU, please click here.