Dr. Kevin B. Zhang, Hunan Manor Restaurant
For the college, it is particularly satisfying to attend the event, since the restaurant generously donates all proceeds to the HCC Silas Craft Collegians fund.
The restaurant closes to the general public for the event and it takes the staff three days to prepare. Tak Wong, Hunan Manor co-owner, says, “We wanted to give back to the community. It’s a good example for our local Chinese community to show how to give back to American society.” Dr. Kevin Zhang, an advisor to the restaurant and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Howard County Chinese School, adds, “The college has provided space and support for the Chinese School since 1998 enabling us to fulfill our mission of cultural preservation by teaching language, culture, and martial arts. Education plays a highly important role in Chinese culture. The school has grown hand in hand with the college.” The Chinese School’s enrollment has grown from 400 to 1000 and HCC’s from over 21,000 to over 30,000 since 1998.
Dr. Zhang stresses that HCC is the only full-service degree-granting institution in the county and “is crucial to the county’s economic development as well as being a center of the arts. The college has had a major impact on the county’s recognition as one of the most livable communities in the country. Education plays an important role in establishing people’s value systems and HCC provides lifelong learning, a foothold for future education in all forms.” James Liu, Hunan Manor general manager, adds, “An educated workforce is very important. Educated employees can more easily communicate, learn new things quickly, and adapt easily.”
Former HCC trustee Roger Caplan encouraged the Hunan Manor team to get involved with HCC and suggested the Silas Craft Collegians program. According to Tak Won, “it appealed to us, giving scholarships to students who might not otherwise go to college. The scholarships help HCC achieve the goals of diversity and equality.” Dr. Zhang adds, “Education not only provides valuable skills but also prepares students to be productive human beings in society. HCC promotes very strong values and has diverse students and programs. It’s what makes America great.”