International Educator - May/June 2012 - 121
Stanford did it, raising about $7.5 million for that phase of the project “so we could have a cushion. We were concerned about commodity prices and inflation. I’m glad we did it, because we needed it,” says Blacker. The final cost was about $7.4 million. “The timing wasn’t the best. All this was about the time the financial crisis hit, but amazingly, we found very generous supporters,” says Oi. The money came mostly in gifts from private sources, including Stanford alumni around the world but largely in the United States and China, with “a lot from Hong Kong,” Oi says. “The Stanford community in Hong Kong and Beijing is quite substantial, and they were very prominent in fundraising for us,” asserts Blacker. “We were pleasantly surprised by the results. We found some very generous supporters,” agrees Oi. The Center is housed in the Lee Jung Sen Building, named for a PKU alumnus and father of another, former Stanford Trustee Chien Lee, a private investor based in Hong Kong. Lee’s mother graduated from
Stanford in 1945 and Lee received his bachelor’s, master’s, and business degrees from Stanford in the 1970s. His family’s charitable foundation was the lead donor. In February 2008 Stanford engaged Mo Atelier Szeto, a leading Beijing architectural firm, to design the SCPKU building. Oi says its previous work included designing a garden within the Forbidden City. “Our site also was historically significant” as the grounds of a former imperial palace, “so we wanted to ensure that the building would be constructed in accordance with traditional design and architecture. We wanted to do it right,” she emphasizes. The architects provided “some great ideas, including trying to maximize our space,” she says. Accordingly, their plans called for reconstructing the traditional Chinese siheyuan building that was initially on the site, around a private courtyard, above a modern, state-of-the-art facility, with two floors below ground featuring modern classrooms, offices, and conference spaces. “It’s a mixture of East and West,” Oi says.
Exploring collaborative Opportunities
On April 21, 2008, Hennessy and Stanford deans and faculty visited PKU to explore new collaborative programs that the SCPKU would enable. Hennessy and Chairman Min Weifang signed a memorandum of understanding to build the Center in a designated site in the northeast corner of the PKU campus. Following more back-and-forth visits by senior leaders of both institutions for additional planning discussions, Stanford Provost John Etchemendy approved the building plan on July 22, 2009. On April 7, 2010, Etchemendy and PKU President Zhou Qifeng signed a 26-year building agreement, and construction began five months later. It went smoothly notwithstanding several glitches, “but that’s always the case,” says Blacker. One glitch was that the water table on the site turned out to be higher than the Chinese builders had anticipated, “so we had to go back and wa-
Roger Williams University is:
• Home to 42 majors, 44 minors, 1 liberal arts college and 5 professional schools • Accredited institutionally by NEASC and programmatically, including AACSB nd ABET a • Located on 143 waterfront acres in beautiful, historic New England • One hour from Boston and less than four hours from New York City • An open community, welcoming students from over 50 nations
RWU offers many extra-curricular opportunities, along with additional support for international students through English-language tutoring, International student Services and the Intercultural Center.
M AY + J U N E . 12
“Go out there and take advantage of the opportunities because there are plenty around you. As an international student, I learned so much just interacting on campus — skills no classroom could teach me.”
Vietnam Architecture ‘10 B.S., ‘11 M.Arch
One Old Ferry Road • Bristol, RI 02809 USA +1 (800) 458-7144 • +1 (401) 254-3500