To mark the 25th anniversary of the only Jesuit institution in mainland China, the Beijing Center for Chinese Studies (TBC) gathered friends and alumni on the evening of 28 November ’23 to cherish the sweet memories of the past and look forward to the bright future.
TBC had seven brave students in the inaugural class of 1998, but now alumni and friends number in the thousands. The centre is proud to be involved in a legacy of engagement, conversation, and global change that sprouts from encouraging educational exchange.
At the 25th anniversary kickoff party, Board of Directors Chairman and JCAP President Fr Tony Moreno SJ spoke about the dual values of courage and creativity that will continue to take this mission–and centuries-old tradition of East-West friendship–far into the future.
This silver year will be celebrated by offering unique opportunities to get engaged with China, more anniversary gatherings, special dialogues and forums, and more. It also heralds a new era with Fr Stephen Tong SJ being selected as the new Chair of the Board of Directors. Fr Tong also serves as the Provincial Superior of the Chinese Jesuit Province.
“The magic of TBC is that in learning about other cultures, you come face-to-face with a greater understanding of your own,” said Dr Simon Koo, TBC Executive Director. “No matter where you’re from, engaging with TBC brings you closer to yourself. And in that process, it also brings you closer to the friends you make along the way, whether they be from your own culture or not. We’re so excited to celebrate 25 years of this magic and look forward to the uncertain future of more friendship and exchange with Fr Tong at the helm.”
The anniversary kickoff party brought old and new friends together from over 10 countries, some of whom travelled across oceans and continents to join the celebration. TBC was especially pleased to welcome longtime friend and board member Fr Joseph Christie SJ, Secretary for Higher Education of the Society of Jesus and Chair of the Board of Directors of the International Association of Jesuit Universities, to China for the first time.
Features of the night included international cuisines that reflected TBC’s commitment to diversity and gifts of reusable cutlery as a statement on Caring for Our Common Home, a Jesuit-influenced movement towards sustainability. And, of course, a cake to represent the sweet memories that 25 years of cultural dialogue have brought about.
TBC thanks all the guests, alumni, visitors, family, and friends for their contributions to TBC’s continued existence as a bridge between China and the world. Together with them, TBC looks forward to 25 more years of excellence and beyond.
– Jesuits in Asia Pacific enews