As part of a personal trip to East Asia, GLCA President Mickey McDonald made visits to Lingnan University in Hong Kong and International Christian University in Tokyo, both members of the Global Liberal Arts Alliance (GLAA).
At Lingnan, Mickey met with President Leonard Cheng who retires this summer and President-Elect Joe Qin. Joining them were Vice President Ka-Ho Mok and Associate Vice President Shalendra Sharma. The group discussed current and future initiatives at Lingnan including the important role of technology, AI, and data, and how they are integrating this perspective throughout the liberal arts and sciences curriculum. Lingnan has been an active participant in many GLAA programs and has been exceptionally active in using the relationships and trust built through the GLAA to create MOUs with other GLAA institutions. After the conversation, Mickey and his husband took a tour around the campus.
That evening the whole group went to an amazing seafood dinner hosted by President Cheng and his wife – where they picked out the evening’s meal from the fish market next to the restaurant and enjoyed it all freshly prepared. This is one of three places in Hong Kong where the local fish market works alongside the neighboring restaurant to give diners this unique experience.
While in Tokyo, Mickey and his husband visited the campus of International Christian University (ICU) and met with President Shoichiro Iwakiri and Vice Presidents Robert Eskildsen and Mark Williams.
The focus of the conversation was on ICU’s recent initiatives, including an embrace of the tagline “liberal arts and sciences” University (rather than just “liberal arts”). They also discussed ICU’s participation in the GLAA, including sending a student from Uganda to the 2023 Athens Democracy Forum, and Professor Toshi Sasao teaching a Globally Connected Course in Peace Education with Professor Ashar Khokhar from Foreman Christian College in Pakistan. Professors Sasao and Khokhar met at the Global Course Connections workshop at Antioch College in late July to design their course connection. In December a team from Kalamazoo College will visit ICU to explore potential areas of collaboration.
After the meeting, the group toured the beautiful new Arts and Sciences Hall hosting classrooms, offices, science laboratories and ICU’s research institutes – a physical representation of their “liberal arts and sciences” tagline. The building was designed by Kengo Kuma, the architect who designed the Japan National Stadium, a primary venue for the Tokyo Olympics. One can see his signature style of use of natural wood inside and out.