Friday, December 31, 2010
The Chinese Donation to Yale University
If an alumni makes a donation to a university in the West, it would rarely make the international news unless it was an exceptionally large donation. When Zhang Lei, the founder and managing partner of Hillhouse Capital Management in Beijing gave $8,888,888 to the management school of Yale University (where he finished a master degree in business administration and a master degree in international relations) on 8 January 2010, he was criticized over the internet. A majority of posts condemned his action for giving his money to a U.S. university rather than keeping it in China. However, a minority spoke out in support of Zhang’s donation writing, “Well donated!! If you donated that money [in China], then more than half would fall into the wallets of corrupt officials (South China Morning Post).” Probably Zhang Lei felt that he had learned more knowledge from Yale University than Renmin University in China where he finished undergraduate studies. This is natural when one is evaluating or reviewing his/her lifetime education after a successful career. No one was surprised that the Chinese education system was worst than education system in the USA.
After growing up and studying in China and Japan, Dr. Suganuma went to the U.S. for graduate studies, earning master’s degrees at both St. John's University (in Chinese studies) and Syracuse University (in international relations) as well as a Ph.D. (in geography) from the Maxwell School of Syracuse University.