A Gift that Transcends Time and Friendship
Crossing generations and graduation years, Schulich alumni and long-time friends Helen Wong (IMBA ’92), Adrian Chau (MBA ’00), Beatrice Cheung (MBA ’77), and Alan Wen (MBA ’77) joined forces last year to give a lasting tribute to Dean Emeritus Dezsö J. Horváth and honour his remarkable 32-year deanship at the Schulich School of Business.
The group of friends share a personal connection with one another that has grown into a life-long friendship. It all started at Schulich’s first CONNECT event in Shanghai in 2005, when the Greater China Chapter President Jonathan Cheung (MBA ’73), and his wife Janice, and Helen together with her husband Thomas met Beatrice and Alan for the first time. Fast forward to 2010, where Adrian met Jonathan at an alumni event in Hong Kong, completing the group of seven.
Central to that bond is a deep respect, appreciation, and regard for the Dean, which inspired the group to create a special retirement gift.
The driving force behind the group’s collective generosity, Helen Wong, reached out to fellow alumni after touring the Rob and Cheryl McEwen Graduate Study & Research Building and proposed the idea of supporting the School in honour of Dean Horváth. Without a moment’s hesitation, Adrian, Beatrice, and Alan responded back with a resounding “yes“.
“‘I was fortunate enough to be part of the second cohort of the IMBA program, which started in 1989, and that gave me the opportunity to get personalized attention from the Dean, being in a very small class,” said Helen. “Back then, we had our own sessions and it felt very exclusive. We had a tight-knit group. Beyond the classroom and graduation, I appreciated the Dean’s efforts in going out of his way to make us feel welcomed and highly engaged at alumni events. Attending an event with the Dean is like having a ‘Strategy’ class.”
Echoing Helen’s sentiments, Adrian remembers receiving a congratulatory email from the Dean after graduation. “I appreciated receiving a personal message from Dean Horváth. I had been attending alumni events since 2010 when I first met Jonathan Cheung (MBA ’73), our Chapter President. Jonathan and Helen, along with the Dean, were instrumental in my active involvement in the School and the alumni initiatives.”
Just as proud to give back to their alma mater, Beatrice and Alan were also inspired to make a major contribution to the School to honour the Dean. The two who met at Schulich while students recently celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary.
The group encourages alumni to pay it forward, whether through philanthropic giving or dedicated volunteerism as exemplified by Jonathan. The Greater China Chapter President has been serving his Chapter members and the Schulich Global Alumni Network for decades.
“It’s not about the amount of the gift, but the participation, and our continuing engagement with our alma mater. The value of our degree increases over time, due in part to the tireless efforts of Dean Emeritus Dezsö J. Horváth and the School. Our group’s collective gift, in honour of the Dean, is also a way to commemorate our time at the School and to express our gratitude for our career success,” said Helen.
Alumni and friends in Hong Kong can make a tax-deductible gift through the Chapel & York Hong Kong Foundation by clicking here. To make a donation to the Dezsö J. Horváth Tribute Fund, a special initiative that has been launched by alumni and friends, please click here.