Entrepreneur Hao Liu ’11 “Booming”

Hao Liu ’11 in front of Kane House on the Wabash campus, 2010

Steve Charles—I wasn’t surprised to read in the current Chronicle of Higher Education about Hao Liu ’11 and the SIE International Summer School program. He co-founded the school when he was a sophomore at Wabash, we featured him in the Spring 2011 issue of Wabash Magazine, Wabash professors have traveled to Shanghai to teach in SIE, and retiring Professor Melissa Butler H’85 has been named the first dean of the program.

I also knew that Hao’s was the first such program in China, and was doing very well.

But I had no idea how well!

The Chronicle calls SIE the first of a “booming enterprise.

“SIE’s success has spawned a slew of competitors,” Chronicle reporters Beth McMurtrie and Lara Farrar write. “New ones are popping up seemingly on a monthly basis.”

And it all started here at Wabash when Hao “realized that Chinese students had little opportunity to take classes for credit at home during the summer, unlike his American counterparts.”

And another of the programs—Summer China Program—was co-founded by Hao’s friend and Wabash alum, Xianwei (Victor) Meng ’10.

In our interview with Hao in the Spring WM, the Wabash philosophy major mathematics minor talked about starting SIE, the differences between doing business in China and the U.S., and the formative two years he spent between his high school and Wabash exploring the business world.

But one part that interview which didn’t make the final feature makes a lot of sense now. I’d asked Hao what first interested him in coming to the U.S. for college:

“When I was a boy, I was not particularly interested in coming to America, though I was constantly influenced by American popular culture, especially music and movies,” he said. “Then in high school I read a book called Harvard Girl by Liu Yiting. It introduced me to American college life and I found it fascinating. I started to do research about how to apply to American colleges.

“I like the spirit of freedom prevailing in the United States, and American entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Peter Thiel were my idols. I became more and more interested in having the education which led to the success of those entrepreneurs.”

So Hao Liu came to Wabash.

Read the Chronicle article here, and our 2011 interview here.

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