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    James S.C. Chao honored with Silver Bell Award

    James S.C. Chao, a Chinese-American merchant mariner, was honored with Silver Bell Award, the high honor from the Seamen's Church Institute on Thursday. The Seamen's Church Institute is North America’s largest mariners' service agency

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    40th Annual Silver Bell Awards Dinner, June 8, 2017

    The 40th Annual Silver Bell Awards Dinner will be taking place on June 8, 2017.

    Among the Honorees is Dr. James S.C. Chao, Chairman, Foremost Group
        Silver Bell Award

    Angela will be participating in the upcoming keynote fireside chat at the conference during the day.

    For more information about the event click here

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    Harvard Business School Inaugurates 1st Building Named After a Woman

    Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Center Opens at Harvard Business School

    A day of firsts at Harvard Business School

    The Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Center opened its doors at Harvard Business School (HBS) on June 6, 2016. The Center represents the physical cornerstone of Harvard’s Executive Education program. It is the first building on the HBS campus named for a woman and the first for an Asian-American.

    The ribbon-cutting ceremony was attended by a large group of dignitaries and supporters, including Dr. Drew Gilpin Faust, President of Harvard University, Dr. Nitin Nohria, Dean of Harvard Business School, the Governor of Massachusetts, Charles Baker, US Senators from Massachusetts Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, and from the Chao family, the Center’s benefactor: Dr. James S.C. Chao, and his daughters, former Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, sisters May, Christine and Grace and Deputy Chairman of Foremost Group, Angela Chao.

    The Center’s construction was funded by a generous gift million from Dr. James S.C. Chao and Chao family foundations. The gift was made in memory of the Chao family matriarch, the late and beloved Ruth Mulan Chu Chao, as a way of keeping alive her legacy of educational excellence and commitment to furthering Asian-American understanding.

    HBS Dean Nitin Nohria said that the new Center will serve as a magnet for thousands of students from around the world, who join the School's Executive Education program each year. He added that the dedication ceremony honored the devotion of Dr. Chao and his wife, Ruth Mulan Chu Chao, to their daughters, to the importance of education, and to Harvard Business School. All of her sisters standing by her side, Angela Chao spoke on behalf of all the sisters at the luncheon celebration about the contrast between her mother’s humility and the power of her actions; traits that her daughters strive to emulate. She said that she hopes that the students who enter the Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Executive Center will be inspired by her mother’s perseverance and humility as they become successful in their own paths in life.

  • A Harvard Business School Milestone: Grand Opening of the Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Center

    For the first time in its history, the Harvard Business School campus will house a building named after a person of Chinese heritage. In fact, this will also mark the first time an HBS facility bears the name of a woman. The Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Executive Center, which will open its doors on June 6, 2016, is the realization of a vision developed by Harvard and the Chao family several years ago.

    In 2012, the Chao Family and their foundations made a donation to cover construction costs of the Center, and also to endow a scholarship program to enable four to six students to attend HBS each year; a particularly appropriate gift, given that four of the Chao daughters graduated from HBS. The Center is named in memory of Angela Chao’s mother and the late beloved wife of Dr. James S.C. Chao, founder of the Foremost Group. Naming the Center in honor of Ruth Mulan Chu Chao will keep alive the flame of her passion for initiatives that strengthen US-China relations, promote understanding and cooperation between people, and empower future leaders through high quality educational programs.

    Chao family at Harvard

    The Center, which has a modern interior but historic exterior designed to blend in seamlessly with the existing HBS campus, covers four floors of teaching, meeting, dining and networking space. It will provide synergistic space to bring together doctoral, MBA and executive HBS students with thousands of international students who arrive on campus each year to participate in Executive Education programs. The Center will facilitate the kind of cross-cultural discussion and building of long-term partnerships envisioned by Ruth Mulan Chu Chao.

    The grand opening is expected to be a historic day on the HBS campus, attended by the Chao family, Harvard leadership, faculty and students, an international press corps and many other US and foreign dignitaries.

  • US-China Education Trust Honors Dr. James S.C. Chao

    At the upcoming Asians in America Awards Dinner scheduled for March 17, 2016, the US-China Education Trust will present Dr. James S.C. Chao with a special award in recognition of his leadership in the Asian American community, as well as for his accomplishments in philanthropy and international trade and commerce. Mr. Madhavan Rangaswami, philanthropist and software executive, will also be honored at this inaugural dinner, which will take place in Washington, D.C. at the Mayflower Hotel.

    The purpose of the awards dinner is to celebrate the achievements of Asian American society: to bring them to a higher level of visibility, and to amplify the conversation around how to advance cooperation between the United States and Asia. Using a focused event such as this, the US-China Education Trust seeks to promote the importance of the tri-lateral relationship among China, India and the United States. As Asia increases its role in global affairs, the Trust believes it is more important than ever to encourage cooperation and understanding between America and Asian nations, especially China and India.

    In the days immediately preceding the dinner, another event -- the US Chiefs of Mission Conference -- will draw all the US Ambassadors to Washington, DC. Due to this fortunate timing, the dinner's organizers were able to extend invitations to His Excellency Cui Tiankai, Chinese Ambassador to the United States, and His Excellency Arun Singh, Indian Ambassador to the United States, as special guests of honor. All of the US Ambassadors to South, Southeast and East Asia are also invited.

    The awards dinner will be followed by a 'Conversation with Ambassadors' and a focused discussion on key and emerging issues affecting the Asian region. The Asians in America Awards Dinner is being hosted by the US-China Education Trust and Ambassador Julia Chang Bloch. Co-chairs are: US Secretary of Labor (2001-2009), the Honorable Elaine Chao, and entrepreneur and philanthropist Mr Frank Islam.

  • Remembering the Past, Building for the Future

    Angela Chao reflects upon family, mission and leadership

    Sara Donnelly of CAIFU Magazine recently interviewed Angela Chao, Deputy Chairman of the Foremost Group. They focused on the strong philanthropic endeavors of the Chao family, especially the Ruth Mulan Chu Chao and James Si-Cheng Chao Family Fellowship Fund, which assists young students of Chinese heritage to access higher education.

    Angela related that her parents survived challenging times, dealing with everything from famine to civil war, yet they understood that an education is portable -- something to carry with them from place to place, and a strong foundation on which to build a stable and successful life. Dr. James Si-Cheng Chao and Mrs. Ruth Mulan Chu Chao impressed upon their children that they each have an obligation to reach their fullest potential, and a responsibility to make a contribution to the world.

    The interview began with a discussion of what role education has played in Angela Chao’s life, and why she chose to attend Harvard.

    As for Harvard, Angela said that it was not necessarily the only choice, but as one of the best educational institutions in the world, she was attracted by the breadth of learning opportunities and challenges she would find there.

    Funding Education

    Focus then shifted to the family’s philanthropy. Perhaps one of the most prominent gifts by the Chao family is the family's donation in 2012 to the Harvard University. Part of the donation is being used to construct the Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Center, named for Angela’s late mother, which will be at the center of the Harvard Business School campus. It will be an international center for learning and exchange of cultural and intellectual ideas. The gift was symbolically made 50 years after the first woman was admitted into Harvard, and went towards the first building on campus to bear the name of a Chinese-American and also the first building to be named after a woman. Angela Chao said that this initiative is tremendously important to her family, as well as to her 

    personally, as an alumna of both Harvard College and again of Harvard Business School. It is a fulfillment of her parents’ lifetime mission to raise the reputation and stature of the Chinese people in the eyes of the world, as well as to facilitate educational excellence. Angela also noted that for her father in particular, it is a very touching gift, as it so aptly exemplifies the core values of her mother and her vision of a globalized and technologically advanced world.

    The Ruth Mulan Chu and James Si-Cheng Family Fellowship Fund sponsors 4-6 international students of Chinese descent each year, providing them with invaluable opportunities to achieve their fullest potential in the world. Angela shared that this was of particular importance to her parents. Her father relied completely on the generosity of others for his education in China, and, as Angela says, would have attended Harvard Business School himself, if it was not for lacking the financial means to do so. It became a mission of her parents' to do what they could to ensure that access to high quality education would not be denied to a worthy student simply because they could not afford it.

    The interview concluded with some thoughts on life skills and success. Chao said that she draws her inspiration and strength from her parents, who in spite of facing many obstacles always remained positive. Their example, she says, gives her the inspiration to find meaning in her own life and to live with integrity and sincerity.

  • Chinese and American: Angela Chao Speaks with China Daily About Embracing Two Cultures

    Angela Chao spent time recently with China Daily reporter Li Jing in the executive offices of the Foremost Group, where she serves as Deputy Chairman. She shared with Li Jing the gifts she inherited from her parents, from her Chinese heritage and how they have served to shape and influence her professional and personal life.

    Foremost Group was founded by Angela’s father, Dr. James S.C. Chao. The company began with modest goals but grew to become a well-respected international shipping enterprise with a state-of-the art and environmentally friendly fleet of dry bulk carriers. Angela’s exposure to Foremost Group began as a child. But her eyes were opened to more than just the inner corporate workings of a business; her father also taught her about ethics, community responsibility, and the importance of education. Angela says that her parents exposed her to a company whose sole focus was not on the bottom line, but on the best way to provide services to a global market. For her parents, to be involved in international shipping was a way to bridge cultures and connect people from all over the the world, thus bringing harmony to the world.

    Angela Chao’s parents were immigrants from China, but she was born in America. The youngest of six children, she is fully immersed in the U.S. Nevertheless, she said that her parents never suggested to her or any of her siblings that they must choose one culture over another. To be successful, they taught, one must grab hold of the best aspects of each culture. For this reason, in addition to being immersed, knowledgeable and a full participant in American culture, Angela is equally proficient in Chinese culture. She speaks fluent Mandarin, is well versed in Chinese philosophy and history, and has fully absorbed the Chinese emphasis on education, community and heritage. The gifts from her parents and her Chinese heritage guide her professional, personal and philanthropic life, and Angela says that for this she is eternally grateful.


  • International Leadership Foundation Recognizes Dr. James S.C. Chao and the Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Foundation

    The 2015 Leadership and Business Conference, the 16th annual meeting and gala awards dinner hosted by the International Leadership Foundation (ILF), was held on July 30th in Washington, D.C. Dr. James S.C. Chao and the Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Foundation were honored with the ILF’s inaugural Organizational Award and Angela Chao, Deputy Chair of the Foremost Foundation, was honored with the Inspirational Leader Award.

    The annual Conference is an opportunity to learn about the most recent developments impacting the relationship between the United States and China, to network and access business opportunities, and to discuss strategies for furthering US-Asia economic cooperation. The event's finale is the annual awards Gala, a time to honor those organizations and individuals who are not only outstanding in their field, but who have made the greatest contributions to improving the status of the Asian Pacific American community. Former Secretary of Transportation, the Honorable Norman Mineta, gave the opening remarks. The keynote speech was delivered by former Secretary of Labor, and Chair of the Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Foundation, Elaine Chao, who also accepted the honors on behalf of her father and sister, as they were unable to attend.

    The mission of the ILF is to promote Asian-American participation in public affairs, to develop young Asian American leaders in the United States and Pacific Rim nations, and to support and stimulate economic success among the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. For the organization of the Leadership and Business Conference, the ILF partnered with the Coalition of Asian American Business Organizations (CAABO). CAABO is devoted to building economic empowerment within the Asian American community through a network of community and business leaders.

    In honoring Dr. James S.C. Chao and the Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Foundation, the ILF wanted especially to recognize Dr. and Mrs. Chao’s lifelong commitment to funding Asian American education. Further, the ILF wanted to acknowledge Dr. Chao's significant leadership as a role-model for Asian Americans in the field of philanthropy, one of the Foundation’s core mission principles. His trailblazing actions have carved out a role for Asian Americans in the arena of mainstream philanthropy in the US. The Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Foundation makes generous donations both in the United States and in China, to support educational facilities construction, endowed chairs, and scholarship opportunities for qualified students who cannot afford a higher education.

    Angela Chao was honored with the Inspirational Leader award, given to the individual who has done the most to inspire young Asian Americans to be successful in their chosen fields. She is President of the Foremost Foundation, as well as Deputy Chairman of the Foremost Group, the international shipping company founded by her father and mother. The ILF noted that Angela Chao has recently established a scholarship fund at Harvard University that targets young Asian Americans. Her example of living successfully within mainstream US culture, while remaining committed to the Asian American community and to strengthening East-West economic, educational and cultural ties -- serves as an inspiration to the future generations of Asian Pacific Americans looking for their own pathway to success.


  • “Personal fortitude, determination, hope and optimism can do a great deal in making a better life.”

    At the International Leadership Foundation’s (ILF's) annual gala dinner, honors of distinction were awarded to Dr. James S.C. Chao and his daughter Angela Chao. Former Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao accepted the awards on their behalf, and later sat down with World Journal to discuss the legacy she and her sisters inherited from her parents.

    Secretary Chao observed that the ILF award recognizes her father as a leader. She said that he was always a leader in everything that he did, including in the area of philanthropy -- where he blazed new trails for Asian Americans -- and through his philanthropic giving has raised the image of Asian Americans and demonstrated that they are contributing members of mainstream society in the US. The Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Foundation, which Elaine and Angela Chao's parents started, is engaged in international philanthropic efforts, including the construction of a new building on the Harvard campus -- the first to be named after someone with a Chinese surname and the first to be named after a woman.

    Secretary Chao also shared that her parents never taught their daughters that it was necessary to choose between East and West, or to live in conflict between the two cultures. Rather they taught her and her five sisters to take the best aspects from each, to integrate them and to forge a path of success with the combined assets. She observed that her sister, Angela Chao, who received the Inspirational Leader award, is a great example of their parents’ teachings as she is deeply immersed in mainstream America -- from her corporate to her philanthropic life, yet she has remained steadfast to her cultural roots and her mission of creating pathways for young Asian Americans to follow.

    It was noted by the ILF that Secretary Chao has dedicated all of her life to being a public servant. The ILF spokesperson said that the organization is very proud of the Chao family and hopes that its young people will learn from and be inspired by the family's legacy.

  • Family, Business and Politics: Dr. James S.C. Chao and WorldJournal.com

    In a recent interview with WorldJournal.com, Dr. James S.C. Chao, founder of Foremost Group, shared his thoughts on family, American and Chinese culture, and the keys to business success.

    On the subject of Foremost Group, Dr. Chao shared that the overriding goal of the company has always been to deliver on promises, to be dependable and to build trust. In Dr. Chao’s opinion it is these key principles that define success rather than desiring to be the largest company in the world. He humbly insists that Foremost Group is not a big company, but he places more emphasis and importance on reputation. Foremost Group focuses on ordering and building the best ships, employee retention, keeping debt low and riding out the fluctuations in the market.

    When asked about his tendency to not speak very much, Dr. Chao noted that his wife also spoke few words, but everyone listened because her words were very powerful. “Speak little but do everything I say I will” is his motto.

    Dr. Chao noted that in spite of his relationships with American and Chinese governments over the years, and certainly today with many politicians, he has never had a desire to become personally involved in the process. He has the photos, his relationships are good, but he loves shipping.

    The other long-term focus of Dr. Chao is his daughters, six accomplished women. The interviewer asked him about the core values that were passed on to them. Dr. Chao shared that he and his wife, before her passing, were very involved in the support, encouragement and empowering of their daughters, helping each one succeed in her individual dreams and life path. What was most important is that their individuality be cherished, respected and nurtured.

    On the topic of how to succeed as Chinese in American society, Dr. Chao noted that Chinese people have their own unique roots, culture and traditions. He emphasized that it is important to carry these gifts to our new place, appreciate our bicultural background as strengths not weaknesses and not deny our identity.

  • First Building Named for a Woman and for a Chinese-American on Harvard Business School Campus “Tops-Off”


    Dr. James S.C. Chao was joined by his daughters, family members, university officials and architects, as well as the construction crew recently to participate in an ancient building construction custom—the "topping off" ceremony. The new Center, named in honor of the late and beloved wife of Dr. Chao, Ruth Mulan Chu Chao, will be the first building on campus named for a person of Chinese descent and also the first to be named for a woman. Angela Chao stressed the importance of this development, saying, “Our parents believed and family believes that the US-China relationship is the most important bi-lateral relationship in the world and it will be for quite some time.” Following speeches, the Chao family signed the beam and it was raised to the top of the new Center. The momentous gift to HBS to support construction of the Center made perfect sense in light of the fact that four daughters from the Chao family attended Harvard Business School, and will also fund 4-6 students to attend Harvard Business School a year.

  • Bridging Family Generations and Bridging Cultures

    Accolades and excitement were buzzing through the air recently as the Harvard Business School leadership, the Chao family and other officials signed their names to the last beam to be put into place to top off the new Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Center. The Center is designed as a space where emerging international leaders will come together to develop a greater understanding of each other and form cooperative strategies to improve the world. It is a fitting monument to Ruth Mulan Chu Chao and her husband Dr. James S.C. Chao, who spent so many years of their lives engaged in building bridges between their Asian homeland and the US, and empowering others through educational achievement. This western tradition "topping off" ceremony was reported in the China Daily.

  • Smiles All Around as the Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Center Receives Its "Top"

    In a tradition dating back thousands of years, Chao family members, Harvard Business School leaders and construction company staff held a “topping off” event, signifying that a major milestone in the building of the Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Center has been achieved. All of the exterior work on this 90,000 square feet executive center is now complete, and the interior work can now begin. The Center, named in honor of the late Ruth Mulan Chu Chao, will be a signature edifice on the Harvard Business School campus, housing conference rooms, dining facilities and classroom space to benefit the thousands of annual executive visitors to the campus from around the world. The project's funders, Dr. James S.C. Chao and the Chao Family Foundation, envision a building that will bridge cultural differences and engender a sense of community and partnership both among international executive students, and between them and the school's faculties and graduate students.

  • Friends, Colleagues and Supporters Gather from Around the World to Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Foremost Group

    The Foremost Group, founded by Dr. James S.C. Chao, an entrepreneur of Chinese descent, recently celebrated its 50th year anniversary with a feted evening of reminiscing and visioning. The event, which was hosted at the Harvard Club in New York City, was attended by a distinguished guest list of government officials, colleagues and long-time Foremost Group supporters. Guests came from as far away as China, Singapore, Japan, HK and Europe, in addition to those from the U.S. Dr. Chao, who founded the Foremost Group, was joined by his extended family, including his daughters Elaine Chao and Angela Chao, who serves as the current Deputy Chairman of the company. China Press Video captured the exciting evening on film.

  • From 1964 to 2014, 50 Years of Success for the Foremost Group

    Last December at the historic Harvard Club in New York, the founder of Foremost Group, Dr. James S.C. Chao, his family, admirers, supporters and colleagues joined together to look back at 50 years of accomplishment by one of the world’s largest and most influential dry bulk shipping companies—Foremost Group.

    On hand to join in the festivities were hundreds of corporate executives, government officials and dignitaries from countries around the world, such as China, Japan, Germany, Switzerland, Singapore and the U.S. Also at the event were the Chao family, including Dr Chao's two daughters, Elaine and Angela.

    Dr. James Si Cheng Chao and his Youngest Daughter, Angela Chao, Speaking during the dinner program

    Dr. Chao shared with his guests the humble beginnings of Foremost Group, how he arrived on the shores of America bereft of contacts, no money and little more than determination and perseverance to carry him through the sleepless nights and early years of struggle. Dr. Chao’s courage was reiterated by his oldest daughter Elaine Chao, who shared with the celebrants the deep impact that her father and mother, Mrs. Ruth Mulan Chu Chao, had not only on the international shipping business but on their family of daughters—whose success in life stemmed from the moral foundation instilled in them from an early age.

    Dr. Chao’s life story makes for great inspiration. He was the youngest ocean vessel captain in China, surpassed all peers in performance on national exams, and is the recipient of many awards and honors, including “Outstanding American,” conferred by the US Department of Homeland Security, the “Distinguished American Award,” and an induction into the International Maritime Hall of Fame at the United Nations.

    The evening also provided a special opportunity for the signing of two significant contracts: one with Mitsui OSK Lines, the largest shipping company in Japan, and the other with Oshima Shipbuilding, one of the largest shipbuilders in Japan. With the execution of these contracts, the Foremost Group seamlessly transitioned from reflections on its past to visions for the future.

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Celebrating 50 Years of Foremost Group: A World Leader in Shipping and Transportation


On December 19th 2014, Dr. James Chao and his daughters gathered at the Harvard Club to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Foremost Group. Joining them were family, friends, company employees, and shipping industry guests from Japan, the US, China, and Europe. Foremost Group is one of the world’s leading shipping and transportation companies and was founded by Dr. Chao and his late wife, Mrs. Ruth Mulan Chu Chao. During the ceremony, Dr. Chao spoke about Foremost Group’s past and encouraged attendees to aim toward entrepreneurship. His daughters, Angela Chao, Deputy Chairman of Foremost Group, and Elaine Chao, former U.S. Secretary of Labor, reflected upon the company's success and strong values and integrity instilled by their parents into the Foremost Group. Prior to the event's dinner, the Foremost Group signed a contract with Sumitomo/Oshima Shipbuilding Group, one of Japan’s largest shipbuilding companies. The contract was for the construction of an additional environmentally friendly bulk carrier which will be employed by Mitsui OSK Lines. To date, Foremost group has a fleet of over 3.5M deadweight tons.

Foremost Group Marks Half a Century of Success

Not many corporations reach the point of celebrating 50 years in business, but recently the Foremost Group did just that, bringing together its founder, family members, company employees, business associates and fans to reflect upon a half century of leadership in the world of international shipping and transportation. Not content merely to celebrate the past, Dr. James S.C. Chao, founder of the Foremost Group, signed new contracts at the event with shipbuilder Oshima Shipbuilding Co immediately followed by a contract of employment of the ship to Mitsui O.S.K. Lines. Those in attendance spoke to Christie Clements, Sinovision Journal reporter, about the Chao’s commitment to family, honor and tradition. Dr. Chao’s daughters spoke eloquently about their father, who maintained a connection to his Chinese roots while embracing his American home.

Celebrating 30 Years of Success: Shanghai Mulan Education Foundation as Featured on ICS

It was all smiles at Shanghai Mulan Education Foundation’s 30 year anniversary celebration. As reported on ICS (International Channel Shanghai), Foundation founders and past grant beneficiaries shared the stage at Shanghai Maritime University in Pudong, to recognize the achievements of the remarkable organisation that has given out over 2,500 scholarships since its founding in 1984. Scholarship recipients have gone on to become global leaders in the shipping and maritime industry. Launching the Foundation was a bold move by Dr. James Si-Cheng Chao and his wife, Mrs. Ruth Mulan Chu Chao, who together established a mechanism whereby outstanding students interested in pursuing shipping or other maritime disciplines could be supported. The Chaos have been championing their belief that a strong educational foundation is the key to success in life for the past three decades, and the Foundation keeps going from strength to strength.

The Ground-Breaking of the Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Center - Ambassador Cui Tiankai and Wife in Attendance

Ambassador Cui Tiankai

On April 24th, 2014, Chinese Ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai, along with his wife and several other distinguished guests, attended the ground-breaking ceremony for the new Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Center. The center will become an integral part of the Harvard Business School, on whose grounds the center is being constructed.

Ambassador Cui thanked Dr. James S.C. Chao and the late honoree and their family for their contributions to US/China educational and cultural exchanges.

The article also speaks of the Chao family’s contributions to the center’s construction, and what the center itself represents to US/Chinese cultural relations. The article was posted on the events portion of the Chinese Embassy’s website.

Education Leads to Leadership – Angela Chao and Family Featured Report

How can a leader learn how to lead? Society gives us so many resources, and among them is the all-important resource of education. To become a good leader, one must first discover how they lead in their own life. Places like the Harvard Business School create just such an environment for this discovery to be made. Whether one excels to the head of the class, chooses to lead through extracurricular activities, or both, the world of academics is a place for self-discovery. Angela Chao and her sisters are products of this environment of academic nurture. The Chao sisters launched to success, and can trace much of that success back to their respective times at the Harvard Business School. Such is the case with many of the school’s graduates, as well as graduates of other academic institutions. Whether a leader sees themselves as serving those around them, or someone that can learn from those that serve them, it all starts with the leadership skills that they learned in an educational environment.

Harvard Business School Honors Late Mother of Angela Chao

The Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Center has been generously donated by the Chao Family in tribute to the late Ruth Mulan Chu Chao, the family’s matriarch. According to the Dean of Harvard Business School, Dr. Nitin Nohria, the building “will be a beacon for education.” The building is opening on the 50th anniversary celebration of women being admitted into Harvard business school and is the first building on campus to be named after a woman. The late Ruth Mulan Chu Chao is the wife of Dr. James S.C. Chao, the founder of the Foremost Group, She is the mother of six daughters, four of whom attended Harvard Business School, including former Secretary of Labor, Elaine L. Chao, and Deputy Chairman of the Foremost Group, Angela Chao.

Chao Family Donation of the Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Center at Harvard Breaks Ground Today

Chao Family at groundbreaking event - Harvard Business School

Reporter Liuchen Yi | Massachusetts

From the Shipping magnate and Foremost Group Chairman, Dr. James S.C. Chao and family foundation’s generous donation of U.S. $40 million dollars, comes the official Groundbreaking Ceremony at Harvard Business School for the Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Center, the new Executive Education Center of Harvard Business School. Harvard University President, Drew Faust, Dean of Harvard Business School, Nohria, former U.S. Secretary of Labor, Elaine Chao, Foremost Group’s Deputy Chairman, Angela Chao, former Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, Massachusetts Senator, Ed Markey, and Chinese Ambassador Cui and other dignitaries all attended and spoke at the celebratory occasion. The Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Center is scheduled for completion in 2016.

Read the full story here.

Chao family gives $40 million to HBS

Announcing a $40 million gift from the James Si-Cheng Chao and Family Foundation were Angela Chao (back row, from left), Christine Chao, May Chao, and Grace Chao, Elaine Chao (front row, left), and James S.C. Chao. They are seated next to a portrait of the late family matriarch, Ruth Mulan Chu Chao (Photo by Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer)

During the half-century that the Harvard Business School (HBS) has admitted women, only the family of James S.C. Chao can claim four daughters among those graduates.

On Friday, the Chao family announced its intention to honor that legacy — as well as the life of its late matriarch, Ruth Mulan Chu Chao — with a $40 million gift to the School to support student fellowships and to build a new executive education center on the Allston campus.

“What a wonderful thing to have a building on this campus that is both named for a woman and comes from the gift of four daughters,” said HBS Dean Nitin Nohria during an afternoon press conference at Kresge Hall, which will be razed to make way for the Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Center, set for groundbreaking in 2014. “It is so symbolic, so wonderful for us to be able to announce this gift in a year in which we’re celebrating 50 years of women graduating from Harvard Business School.”

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Other Coverage

Dr. James S.C. Chao Honored
World Trade Week - New York City - Dr. Chao received the International Trade Award at the NYC’s World trade Week on Monday, May 13, 2013.

Learn more about the event here.

News from the HBS W50 Summit
Harvard Business School YouTube Channel - Harvard Business School Dean Nitin Nohria discusses the Chao Family's gift and the Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Center - the first building on Harvard's campus named for a woman. View the entire speech here.

Harvard Business School Gets $40 Million Gift From Chao Family
Bloomberg.com - Harvard Business School received $40 million from the James S.C. Chao and Family Foundation for scholarships and an executive education building. Read the full story here.

Harvard Business School gets $40 million family donation
The Boston Globe - Harvard Business School is significantly expanding its mission of training current business leaders with the addition of a second executive education center, funded by a $40 million gift from the family of Elaine L. Chao, a former US labor secretary. Read the full story here.

HBS announces $40M gift to replace Kresge Hall
Boston Business Journal - A family foundation with alumni ties to Harvard Business School will donate $40 million to support fellowships and the construction of a new executive education facility to replace Kresge Hall. Read the full story here.

National Committee on United States-China Relations
U.S. Foreign Policy Colloquium - The U.S. Foreign Policy Colloquium is an exciting program designed to help Chinese graduate students from any academic discipline better understand the complex forces that shape American foreign policy. Read the full story here.

The Foremost Foundation Donates to American Association for Cancer Research
AACR.org - The Foremost Foundation gave at the Founders Level to the American Association for Cancer Research, who shares the common mission to prevent and cure cancer through research, education, communication and collaboration. Read the full story here.

The Chao Family Honored at the 2010 MOCA Legacy Awards Gala
mocanyc.org - The Museum of Chinese in America honored the Chao Family with the Legacy Award at the 2010 MOCA Legacy Awards Gala. Read the full story here.