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STAYINGCONNECTEDWorldwide Travel Program Visits China
A group of 39 U.S. alumni and their guests learned firsthand about the global reach of Rensselaer during a recent trip to China with the Rensselaer Alumni Association (RAA) Worldwide Travel Program.
In October, alumni visited Xi’an, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and many other fascinating destinations. “In a phrase, the China trip was beyond superlatives in almost every respect the trip of a lifetime,” says Basil Whiting ’60. Travelers visited big cities and remote countrysides, touring museums, restaurants, shops, factories, and experiencing for themselves the Chinese people and the culture.
“It seems everything is under construction for the 2008 Olympics,” Whiting says. “We endlessly walked Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, the Ming Tombs, and the Great Wall, and visited a freshwater pearl jewelry factory where our guide opened a huge freshwater clam to find almost two dozen pearls inside!”
One of the trip’s highlights was the stop in Chongqing. “We explored this bustling city at the western terminus of the new Yangtze lake,” Whiting says. “We saw five pandas at the zoo, and some of us actually patted one. One expects them to be fluffy; actually, I can testify that their fur is rough and coarse and feels like stroking a doormat.”
Another highlight was a reception in Beijing where 20 members of the new China Alumni Chapter met with U.S. travelers. Many chapter members graduated from a specialized MBA program in the Lally School, and have now assumed leading roles in both government and industry. Guobin Zhao ’99, founder of Guobin American English Learning Center, acted as host and master of ceremonies. “It was a wonderful opportunity to swap RPI stories and for us to learn from some of those who were making the China miracle happen,” says RAA President Bob Forman ’61.
The RAA’s Worldwide Travel Program offers many opportunities to bring together alumni from around the world. To learn more, contact Michael Wellner ’64 at CaptMike46@aol.com or call the alumni office at (518) 276-6205. For information on international alumni chapters, contact Dawn Chen at email@example.com or (518) 276-6099.
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