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 leadersBy 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. This week, he brought his passion to life through a multi-million dollar fund to support current Waterloo programs and create a unique post-doctoral 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 post-doctoral program will drive a disruptive educational agenda. Designed for exceptional post-doctoral students from top universities, the program will develop talented professionals who are poised to make economic and social impact at Waterloo.
Fellows will choose one of two streams. One stream will focus on deep research, offering top faculty as supervisors. The second stream will support post-doctoral students who are eager to pursue commercialization, innovation and entrepreneurship.
Post-doctoral students will be mentored by Waterloo’s leaders in emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, quantum computing and cybersecurity, interact with industry leaders and 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.”
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 created 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.”
The AMTD Foundation also provided funding toward a graduate scholarship in the name of Waterloo’s president and vice-chancellor, Feridun Hamdullahpur, and his wife, Catherine.
The University of Waterloo acknowledges that much of our work takes place on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. Our main campus is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land granted to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River. Our active work toward reconciliation takes place across our campuses through research, learning, teaching, and community building, and is co-ordinated within the Office of Indigenous Relations.