President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. led a team of key university personnel on a strategic trip to China, where they presented to admitted students and their families. The team described the unique benefits of a Stony Brook education at events held in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou during the weekend of April 6 – 8.
“Telling our story to the best and brightest prospective students worldwide is critical to our academic mission,” President Stanley said. “Internationalization provides diversity of perspectives and cultures as well as access to global research opportunities.”
“Smart, targeted recruitment efforts of this kind are central to our strategy as we move forward,” he added.
Approximately 300 guests attended each of the three sessions. The events featured presentations, videos, remarks, and extensive interactions with prospective students and their parents, including Q&A sessions. Team members included representatives from Admissions, Global Affairs, Student Affairs and the faculty.
Highlighting the Beijing event was an appearance by Albert Einstein Professor Emeritus C.N. Yang, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist who founded Stony Brook’s C.N. Yang Institute for Theoretical Physics.
“We are honored to be joined by Dr. Yang, a giant of 20th-century science,” President Stanley said. “Our ongoing commitment to collaboration with Chinese scholarship is rooted in his eminent career at Stony Brook.”
The Beijing event April 6 was standing room only. Stony Brook team members on the scene estimated the crowd at between 350 and 400 guests.
“C.N. Yang, who was greeted like a rock star, spoke about his many wonderful experiences at Stony Brook, telling families how comfortable international students are at SBU,” said Stefan Hyman, Assistant Provost for Enrollment Strategies.
President Stanley provided a strong overview of the University’s unique benefits. Additionally, a parent spoke to describe her son’s time at Stony Brook, crediting the University for “saving [her] son’s life.”
Reaching Shanghai, the most populous city in the world, the Stony Brook team again presented to a full house, with more than 300 prospective students and parents in attendance at the April 7 event. C.N.Yang’s presentation from the previous day was screened on video.
Among those presenting was Xiaoqing Feng, a parent of a Stony Brook undergrad.
“My child has seen great personal growth and progress in the four year in Stony Brook,” Xiaoqing said. “He was able to greatly improve his English, and in result, improve his grades. With the help of his professors and classmates, his GPA rose steadily. From a 3.5, to a 4.0 now.”
Following the presentations, all team members took questions from students and parents at tables for more than an hour. Stony Brook hosts reported enthusiastic engagement from guests, indicating that the message is being received loud and clear.
The final reception in Guangzhou April 8 was also standing-room-only, with over 300 parents and prospective students in attendance. President Stanley again offered an overview of the University’s unique strength and welcoming climate.Speakers included incoming students, the parent of an undergraduate and an alumnus. All praised the support and first-class education they or their loved ones received at Stony Brook.
A highlight of the Guangzhou event was President Stanley’s presentation of $8000 in scholarship funds from the Stony Brook Foundation to Maverick Mo, a graduate student with cerebral palsy. According Dr. Jun Liu, Vice Provost for Global Affairs and Founding Director of the China Center, the gift was intended “to show our commitment, support, and genuine care for diversity. ”
The trip was spearheaded by the University’s new China Center, which is charged with recruiting more and higher-achieving graduate and undergraduate international students from China.
“The China Center hosted the first national conference on the success of Chinese international students last April, and is already recruiting in China for the Fall 2018 semester with the Graduate School and Undergraduate Admissions,” Dr. Liu said.
“Stony Brook continues to expand its global landscape to provide transformational experiences for our students,” he added.
Stony Brook University was recently awarded a prestigious 2018 Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization by NAFSA: Association of International Educators.