Prof. Yih-Fang Huang with freshmen Greater China Scholars
The Greater China Scholars celebrated the beginning of the new academic year at a dinner held at Geddes Hall on Sunday, August 27. Notre Dame faculty and staff from across the university welcomed 13 new freshmen scholars from Taiwan, Hong Kong, and 7 cities in mainland China to begin their undergraduate journey at Notre Dame.
“Tonight we gather here to welcome the new freshmen scholars to the University of Notre Dame, and to the GCS family. We are also here to celebrate the return of the upperclassmen scholars, faculty and staff from the summer,” said Miranda Ma, advisor for Asia programs, as she opened the dinner. She welcomed Professor Eileen Botting, faculty director of the University Merit Scholarship Programs, Professor Michel Hockx, director of the Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies, and the program’s faculty mentors and past representatives of the GCS Selection Committee.
The Greater China Scholars Program, launched in 2011 and designed to promote global leadership and service, is the University of Notre Dame’s largest scholarship program for international undergraduate students. The selected Scholars demonstrate exceptional academic achievement, a strong commitment to the betterment of society, and a promising capacity for global leadership.
Dr. Jonathan Noble, assistant provost for internationalization and founder of the Greater China Scholars Program, spoke about the exponential growth of the program from only three students in the first year, to a total of 58 students today, more than 40 of whom are currently enrolled as students and attending the dinner. It has developed from a scholarship only program into a comprehensive program that nurtures students’ excellence in scholarship, service and leadership through on-campus programming and summer enrichment awards. “In this way we hope that over time more families in China would not only recognize Notre Dame for our excellence in academics, but also for our mission to educate the heart as well as the mind,” said Dr. Noble.
Manning Wu’ 21 shared her experience with the Outward Bound Program
At the dinner, Scholars shared their summer enrichment experiences and how those experiences impacted them.
Supported by the Greater China Scholars Summer Enrichment Awards, 9 out of 13 freshmen scholars chose to participate in the one-week Outward Bound Program with about 20 other Notre Dame merit scholars this past summer.
“The most touching moment was when I carried the kayaking boat on my shoulder which blocked my sight, traversing through the wetlands, [and] I knew that my teammates would have my back,” said Yixian Fu, Class of 2021.
Freshman Yuxin Lin said, “It was really rewarding when I was lying on the ground with my tent mates, and looking at a sky full of stars. That’s the moment when I connected with my spiritual self.”
Helen Hong, a sophomore Scholar who volunteered for eight weeks in Ecuador working on providing educational opportunities for children in the open street markets, said that she felt at home when she met two Notre Dame alumni there who took her to dinner, and she would forever be grateful of the strong Notre Dame connection.
Upperclassmen scholars also shared their summer experiences of the dedication into research and internships.
Yilong Yang’18, a physics and economics double major, conducted research on the nuclear giant resonance, including a two-week experiment at the Research Center for Osaka University and a ten-week data analysis at Notre Dame.
Yuchen Zou’18 talked about her summer internship and its impact on her
Yutong Liu’19 spent eight weeks on the “Get the Lead Out” project, conducting research and community outreach on the childhood lead poisoning in South Bend, Indiana. He said he hoped to develop a new tool to test the lead source, and to educate the public about prevention measures when exposed to an environment with lead. while living with lead.
Yuchen Zou’ 19 said that her summer internship at JP Morgan in New York City made her determined to pursue a career in the financial services industry. Zou encouraged the scholars to utilize their summers to their fullest potential, in order to figure out where their interests lie.
Professors Eileen Botting and Michel Hockx expressed their support for the GCS program. Botting encouraged the Greater China Scholars to recognize their responsibility for building a strong Notre Dame community not only among themselves, but also within Notre Dame. “This year is the inaugural year of the University Merit Scholarship Programs, and the Greater China Scholars Program is an important part of the program. I’m glad to see that all of you are able to leverage your resources and explore your intellectual interests,” Botting said.
Hockx said that the Liu Institute provides numerous opportunities for students interested in pursuing study, research or internship in or about Asia, including funding, courses, forums, lectures and social opportunities. “I hope the Institute, as well as you, the Scholars, could all make an effort to build a bridge between Asia and the U.S., your culture and other cultures.”
Noble wished all of the scholars a great year: “You make our work at Notre Dame a great joy and you represent the value and beauty of internationalization.”
Prof. Eileen Botting provided remarks at dinner