Top-level Fordham University educators met with their counterparts in China this week to formally launch joint master’s programs at universities in Beijing and Shanghai as part of Fordham’s continuing efforts to internationalize its curriculum and create global opportunities for its business students.
In a signing ceremony in Beijing on Wednesday, Fordham and Peking University kicked off a jointly administered Master of Science in Global Finance (MSGF) that is supported by a $1 million grant from the NASDAQ OMX Educational Foundation. On Monday, Fordham officials signed a collaboration agreement with Shanghai University of Finance and Economics (SUFE), setting up a joint graduate program that will accommodate 50 students.
It was a trip that strengthened the University’s ties with major universities in China and paved the way for even more international learning opportunities for Fordham students, said Stephen Freedman, Ph.D., senior vice president/chief academic officer, and professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Fordham. The Fordham delegation included David A. Gautschi, Ph.D., incoming dean of the Graduate School of Business Administration (GBA), and Robert Himmelberg, Ph.D., who has served as GBA’s interim dean for the past year.
“The international partnerships we have forged in China are not only a great benefit to our students, but enrich the curricula and cultures of the participating institutions,” Freedman said. “Likewise, the NASDAQ OMX Educational Foundation’s generosity benefits both the University and the international business community in training executives prepared to lead in a world of dynamic, 24-hour markets.”
The official opening ceremony, which took place on the campus of Peking University, was facilitated by John Yang, Ph.D., co-dean of Beijing International MBA Program (BiMBA), on Wednesday. Other speakers included Freedman; Ho-Mou Wu, Ph.D., executive dean of the National School of Development; Meyer Frucher, vice chairman of NASDAQ OMX; Fordham deans Gautschi and Himmelberg; and Tian Jing, a student representative of the MSGF program. Other notable participants included Eric Landheer, head of Asia Pacific NASDAQ OMX; and Yeeli Hua Zheng, chief representative of NASDAQ OMX in China.
On Tuesday, at SUFE’s School of Economics in Shanghai, Freedman and Himmelberg met with SUFE Vice President Zhongfei Zhou and Guoqiang Tian, dean of the School of Economics (SOE). Tian, Freedman and Himmelberg signed the collaboration agreement on the joint graduate program. Under the agreement, qualified students who have been admitted to and completed the pre-course training at SOE are given the opportunity for graduate study at Fordham’s Graduate School of Business Administration.
Following the MSGF signing ceremony, Peking University’s Langrun Garden was renamed in honor of the late Alexander Tognino, brother of John N. Tognino (FCLS ‘75), chairman of the Fordham University Board of Trustees. Alex Tognino died suddenly in May 2008. He was associate general counsel, trademarks and licensing and managing attorney for the IBM Corporation. At the ceremony Freedman unveiled a memorial plaque and read a letter, on behalf of Alex Tognino’s friends and colleagues at IBM, expressing their deep love and gratitude to him. Yan Zhang, senior counsel, intellectual property law, IBM China, also read a moving tribute to Tognino, on behalf of the IBM intellectual property law organization. A tree was also planted in Tognino’s name in the garden.
The Master of Science in Global Finance (MSGF), announced last year, will serve students who have earned an MBA in management and want to gain a specialization in finance. The master’s is a partnership with the BiMBA program at Peking University, a collaborative degree program involving Fordham and other Jesuit universities. The first MSGF students took courses in Beijing this past spring and will study at Fordham over the summer.