SUNY Maritime establishes Chao scholarship fund

The following is text of a news release from the State University of New York (SUNY) Maritime College:

(THROGGS NECK, N.Y.) — Rear Adm. Michael Alfultis, president of SUNY Maritime College, on Wednesday announced the establishment of the Ruth Mulan Chu Chao and James Si-Cheng Chao Endowed Scholarship Fund as a permanent, need-based scholarship. The scholarship has been funded by Dr. James S.C. Chao, founder and honorary chairman of Foremost Group, and his daughter, Angela A. Chao, chairwoman and CEO of Foremost Group in honor of Dr. Chao and his late wife, Mrs. Ruth Mulan Chu Chao.

“The Chao Scholarship will benefit generations of students who are interested in pursuing maritime and engineering studies, and possess a demonstrated knowledge of the Chinese culture and language,” said Alfultis. “Having been one of the youngest Chinese ship captains in the modern era, Dr. Chao and his family recognize the relationship between a professional education and a strong maritime work force.”

Foremost Group, Dr. Chao and Ms. Chao were honored at SUNY Maritime College’s 2018 Admiral’s Scholarship Dinner for their leadership in the maritime industry and for promoting international educational initiatives. They addressed a record-sized audience of nearly 700 attendees that included industry leaders from the New York region and around the world, college alumni, friends and students. An American of Chinese descent, Dr. Chao spoke of his career in the maritime industry, of the importance of its continued professionalization and the desire to share his family’s success with future generations.

“My parents have always believed in the transformative power of education, and they raised us with a deep conviction in the importance of education as a foundational building block to cultivating one’s self to make a positive difference in the world,” said Ms. Chao. “They taught us that material things do not last – but education you can take anywhere. And with education, you can always start again.”

The Chao family’s leadership in education spans decades and, like Foremost Group, has had a global reach. In recognition of his philanthropic contributions, Dr. Chao has been the recipient of innumerable honors and awards, including induction into the International Maritime Hall of Fame at the United Nations.

Dr. Chao and his late wife dedicated their lives to promoting education and philanthropy. Through their generosity, thousands of students have been awarded scholarships. The Chao Foundation’s Mulan Educational Scholarship Fund helps students from the National Taiwan Ocean University pursue graduate degrees at SUNY Maritime College, including the establishment of a cooperative agreement between the two schools in 2016. As a result of that agreement, to date, two students from Taiwan have attended the SUNY Maritime campus, and the first SUNY Maritime student is studying in Keelung City, Taiwan.

Ms. Chao concluded, “Our industry plays a vital role in today’s world. We bring goods from where they are produced to where they are needed. In so doing, we build bridges between countries and among peoples. If you ask me, the world needs more maritime people.”

The Chao family hopes that the Ruth Mulan Chu Chao and James Si-Cheng Chao Endowed Scholarship Fund will inspire students to follow the path that has been central to Dr. and Mrs. Chao’s success.

For more information about the scholarship fund and to make a donation, click here.

By Professional Mariner Staff