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Meeting With Alumni in Asia

In October 2011, President David Oxtoby and his wife Claire, VP of Advancement Chris Ponce, and Major Gifts Officer Catherine Okereke went on an eight-day tour of Asia, which included alumni Campaign events in Tokyo, Singapore and Japan. Trustee Bernie Chan '88 hosted the Hong Kong event and joined the travelers in Singapore and Hong Kong. He even enlisted the help of his cousins in Bangkok to host as well.

In Tokyo, the campaign event was hosted by the brothers Yasuyuki '57 and Kenji '61 Igarashi, international students who attended Pomona in the late 50s and early 60s. The event attracted a combination of alumni, parents, and study-abroad students, and Professor of Psychology Sharon Goto joined from Kyoto where she is on sabbatical and spoke eloquently about what Pomona College means to her as a faculty member, and about the talented students she has the opportunity to work with.

In Hong Kong, two study-abroad students, Grant Wu '13 and Claire Yuan '13, spoke at the Campaign reception, focusing on what brought them to Pomona and what they are doing with their educational opportunities. In addition to meeting with alumni, the group visited two schools, the International Christian School in Hong Kong a school in Shenzhen, China. 

In Bangkok, the group visited an international school, the Shrewsbury School, and met with nearly 25 poeple from the Ministry of Education and from a number of Thai universities to talk about liberal arts education and how Thailand might adopt those ideas, even though the government and all its offices had shut down that day due to flooding. Last spring, Professor John Seery had visited Thailand and spoken there about liberal arts education; on this visit, President Oxtoby was gifted with a booklet with his talk translated into Thai and a set of pictures, including one of Seery with the Princess of Thailand.

Singapore was the last stop. The Pomona College alumni group has increased from just four or five 10 years ago to 15 to 20 now, plus a strong parent group. 

Please view photos of the three alumni receptions, which some parents and friends of the College also attended, below.