In 1958, James Sai-Wing Wong boarded an ocean liner in Hong Kong and began an 18-day trek to Waco, where he and a friend would study at Baylor. More than half a century later, Wong, BS ’60, is now an international business executive and scholar.
Last month, Baylor President Ken Starr visited Wong in his home city of Hong Kong to bestow the Baylor University Distinguished Achievement Award upon Wong for his distinctive contributions in both academics and business.
You may remember Dr. Wong’s incredible journey to Waco that was chronicled in the Winter 2010-11 issue of Baylor Magazine. Following graduation from Baylor, Wong earned a doctorate in mathematics from California Institute of Technology and soon became a world-renowned expert in qualitative theory of differential equations, earning a full professorship at the University of Iowa before his 30th birthday.
In 1974, Wong returned to Hong Kong to help run his family’s business after his father’s death. Today, Wong is executive chairman of Hon Kwok Land Investment Company and two other companies. He has also done his part to provide others with the same opportunity he was given, beginning with his support for current Baylor senior Evan Choi, who followed in Wong’s steps from Hong Kong to Waco.
Wong is one of only 20 individuals to have ever received Baylor’s Distinguished Achievement Award. Past recipients include former Baylor President Abner McCall, JD ’38, BA ’42, prominent audiology researcher Dr. Joseph E. Hawkins, AB ’33, world-renowned pediatric cardiologist Dr. Mary Allen Engle, BA ’42, and Houston businessman Vernon Garrett Jr., BBA ’47.
Sic ’em, Dr. Wong!