March 13, 2019
Developing global talent
Calvin Choi (BA ’01) and the AMTD Foundation create a multi-million dollar fund to support future global leaders.
Calvin Choi (BA ’01) and the AMTD Foundation create a multi-million dollar fund to support future global leaders.By Megan Vander Woude Office of Advancement
Hong Kong-based alumnus Calvin Choi (BA ’01) has always felt a close connection to the University of Waterloo, despite the distance.
After many years as a global business leader, Choi developed a passion for the social impact disruptive technologies can provide. He brought his passion to life through a multi-million dollar fund to support current Waterloo programs and create a unique postdoctoral program. Choi and the AMTD Foundation designed the fund to develop global talent in Hong Kong and Canada, and extending to the world stage.
The new $3 million postdoctoral program drives a disruptive educational agenda. Designed for exceptional postdoctoral fellows from top universities, the program will develop talented professionals who are poised to make economic and social impact at Waterloo.
Fellows choose one of two streams. One stream focuses on deep research, offering top faculty as supervisors. The second stream supports fellows who are eager to pursue commercialization, innovation and entrepreneurship.
Waterloo recently announced its first cohort of AMTD Scholars, whose research ranges from removing toxic chemicals from wastewater to preventing STIs among women displaced by terrorism.
The Scholars interact with industry leaders, receive mentorship from Waterloo’s leaders in emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, quantum computing and cybersecurity, and are encouraged to explore opportunities for application and commercialization.
“New technologies are increasing the speed of change in our society at an ever-increasing pace,” says Choi, chairman and president of the AMTD Foundation. “It’s important that the leaders of tomorrow can anticipate and respond to the challenges and opportunities they bring.”
It means so much to us that one of our global alumni is dedicated to supporting the work being done at Waterloo and enabling the future success of our institution.
The AMTD fund also supports Waterloo programs through scholarships that will help prepare students to make scientific discoveries and develop technologies.
Inspired by Canada’s newest Nobel laureate, Donna Strickland, Choi invested $200,000 in an undergraduate scholarship for incoming physics students. “Investing in the field of physics encourages curiosity and broad thinking that leads to great discoveries,” he says.
Strickland is a Waterloo physics professor who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2018 for developing chirped pulse amplification (CPA) with Gérard Mourou. Her work exemplifies the collaboration that Choi aims to support – advances in science that can be directly applied to the world around us, creating disruption and opportunity.
“I’m honoured to have this scholarship named after me that will encourage future scientists,” says Strickland. “I’d like to thank Mr. Choi for this tribute and his generosity to Waterloo and to young people interested in physics.”
Investing in the field of physics encourages curiosity and broad thinking that leads to great discoveries.
The AMTD Foundation also provided $60,000 in funding toward a graduate scholarship in the name of Waterloo’s president and vice-chancellor, Feridun Hamdullahpur, and his wife, Catherine.