President Carlberg's column appears in every STILLPOINT. Visit the President's Page for more of his thoughts.
One of my first tasks after being selected as Gordon's president in 1992 was to find a dean of chapel for the College community. Someone suggested the Reverend Raymond Lee, an associate pastor at the Chinese Church in Lexington, Massachusetts. I wanted to appoint someone with a global perspective who understood other cultures throughout the world. On August 1, 1992, Rev. Ray joined our administrative team as the dean of chapel: the very first appointment in my new administration. In fact we both began our service on the same day.
Rev. Ray Lee brought to our community enthusiasm, deep biblical knowledge and a passion for people to know Jesus Christ. In the second year of his leadership as the dean of chapel, he and I took a trip to Hong Kong. I was representing Gordon College to leaders there and to several of the Christian high schools. He was conducting business on behalf of his family enterprises. During the trip we had several opportunities to talk together about our vision for Gordon. Rev. Ray indicated that he was being asked to assume a major business leadership role in Hong Kong, which would require a reduction in his involvement at Gordon.
We also discussed creating an East-West Institute on our campus with Rev. Ray as the founding director. The purpose of the Institute would be to introduce students and others to the rich cultural heritage and history of Asia and to build opportunities for study and work in Asia or Asian communities here in Greater Boston. Rev. Ray also expressed willingness to fund the East-West Institute's operations, help lead its staff and create office space on the third floor of A. J. Gordon Memorial Chapel.
The program thrived under his leadership and soon was expanding its horizons through contacts with key leaders in Hong Kong and elsewhere in Asia. Dr. Tom Askew, professor of history and Asian studies at Gordon College, became the East-West Institute's first full-time leader. In this issue of STILLPOINT, Dr. Dong Wang, the current director, gives an overview of the Institute's programs and possibilities.
The responsibilities of leadership within the Lee Family enterprises required that Ray and Priscilla Lee move to Hong Kong. But that didn't cut off their relationship with Gordon College. Indeed it made it possible for the East-West Institute to have an Asian base. Students from Gordon began working and studying in Hong Kong to gain a stronger understanding of international business and Chinese culture.
Through the years Rev. Ray and Priscilla Lee have stayed closely connected to Gordon in other ways as well. Each of them has served on our Board of Trustees; Rev. Ray currently holds a seat on the Board. They have been instrumental in helping the College expand its physical facilities to an office park in nearby Beverly.
But the program that has affected virtually the entire Gordon student body is one they launched with us in Lynn, a multiethnic community south of Gordon. Gordon in Lynn has recently gone residential at the Belkins Building on Munroe Street in Lynn.
By continuing their commitment to Gordon College from half a world away, the Lees have underscored the calling of Jesus Christ on their lives as faithful people who honor Him and others through their work.