Confucius Institute, Renwen Society celebrate Dr. James Si-Cheng Chao


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The Renwen Society of China Institute and the Confucius Institute at SUNY College of Optometry presented From Home to a New Homeland, a celebration honoring Dr. James Si-Cheng Chao, Saturday, September 17 at the Schwarz Theater.

Founder of Foremost Group, a global leader in environmentally friendly ship designs and technology, Dr. Chao was inducted into the International Maritime Hall of Fame for his contributions to the domestic and international maritime industry in 2004.

He was accompanied by two of his daughters, The Honorable Elaine L. Chao and May M. Chao.

The Honorable Elaine L. Chao served as U. S. Secretary of Labor from 2001 to 2009, the first Asian American woman to serve in the President’s Cabinet in American history.  May M. Chao was appointed Chair and Executive Director of the New York State Consumer Protection Board by New York Governor George Pataki in 2002.

Dr. Chao received the Renwen Society’s first Lifetime Achievement Award for Philanthropy during Saturday’s event. More than 5,000 American and Chinese students have broadened their horizons through scholarships provided by the Shanghai Mulan Education Foundation and other Chao family philanthropies.

The Confucius Institute at SUNY College of Optometry is a joint project of SUNY College of Optometry, Wenzhou Medical College and Hanban, which is affiliated with the Chinese Ministry of Education. Its programs and courses in Chinese language and culture emphasize the healthcare system in China.

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