Spring 2013

They reach out to students in Asia

They reach out to students in Asia
Albert Chan and Sylvia Wong enjoy talking to high school students about Binghamton University.

Pingkwan (Albert) Chan ’80 says that when he was a student at Binghamton, it was rare to find rice in the dining hall. Fast forward to 2012, and his impression of campus is a place where “everyone looks like they are from someplace else.”

Chan, a cardiologist, and his wife, Sylvia Wong ’82, a corporate attorney, are helping the University increase its global reach by recruiting international students to Binghamton. The Westchester County, N.Y., couple are natives of Hong Kong and maintain strong ties to Asia.

Chan participates in a Cornell Medical School project to introduce current medical practices to doctors in China. While overseas, he eagerly shares his Binghamton experiences with high school students.

“After one year, I had the opportunity to leave Binghamton and transfer to an Ivy League school but stayed because I decided Binghamton was the best place for me,” Chan says. “I made friends with so many different kinds of people, and this was a great place to make the transition into adulthood.”

In early 2012, Wong was working in Shanghai, periodically talking to high school students about Binghamton, when her employer, IBM, made her chief trust and compliance officer at corporate headquarters in Armonk, N.Y. “I give the credit to Binghamton because the education prepared me well for my future,” she says.

Sylvia and Albert’s recruiting efforts included their son, Justin, a high school senior. His application to Binghamton is in, and soon they will know if he will be a member of the Class of 2017. If he is, his parents believe he won’t be disappointed with the quality of education.

“We are what we are because of the education we got at Binghamton,” Wong says. “Many of our colleagues came from Ivy League schools, and we don’t feel disadvantaged in any way.”


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