On July 20-22, The Fund for American Studies (TFAS) hosted a reunion in Hong Kong for graduates of the Asia Institute for Political Economy (AIPE). The reunion celebrated the tenth anniversary of AIPE, which was founded in 2002. AIPE alumni had the opportunity to reconnect with each other and with their professors. They also had the opportunity to meet the current AIPE students. Alumni came to the reunion from across Asia including Hong Kong, mainland China, the Philippines, Singapore and Japan.
The festivities began with a reception on Friday evening, during which students of the AIPE 2012 class were able to meet and network with AIPE alumni. Also in attendance were James Thompson,CEO of Crown Worldwide, and Alan Seigrist, CEO of Executive Centre. TFAS Chairman Randal C. Teaguegave the opening remarks for the occasion.
On Saturday, four AIPE alumni in banking and finance conducted a professional development panel for current AIPE students. The alumni gave a very informative and candid account of their own professional experiences, their successes and failures, and strategies for getting hired. Saturday also featured a guest lecture from Dr. Mark Michelson, chairman of the Asia CEO Forum. His remarks were entitled, “Repealing the Hong Kong Wine Tax: The Issue, The Solution, The Result.” He discussed how the repeal of the wine tax in Hong Kong allowed a brand new industry to blossom. As a festive complement to Michelson’s remarks, the students and alumni attended a winery tour and tasting at The 8th Estate Winery in Hong Kong, one of the new wineries that flourished after the tax was lifted.
The weekend wrapped up with a Saturday evening banquet for AIPE alumni at the Chiu Chow Garden Restaurant. On Sunday morning, the students and alumni heard from Dr. Richard Vuylsteke, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong. He spoke about professional development and the reality of working in Asia.
This educational and enjoyable event was the perfect way to celebrate ten successful years of TFAS in Asia. With such an active, engaged and successful network of AIPE alumni, we are looking forward to many more such reunions.