Across the world yet closer than ever

Spirit of Western Award winner Kant Chong has unwavering passion for his alma mater

By Cassie Dowse

Chong family in Western sweaters

When Kant Chong, BA’03, traveled from his home in Hong Kong to Western’s campus as a prospective undergraduate student, he made the decision to attend on the spot. Although he hadn’t seen the other four Ontario universities he was accepted to, the choice was already clear.

“I was captivated by the beautiful campus and the friendly and helpful staff,” Kant recalls. “I knew Western would provide a nurturing environment to thrive academically and personally.”

At Western, Kant studied economics and developed lifelong friendships. He also participated in extracurricular activities that enriched his student experience. Kant helped successfully recruit 500 students to the Asian Students Club in his first year at Western. He is also a founding member of the Asia Academic and Career Foundation which collaborates with local and multinational companies in Asia to assist graduates with job placements.  

Western holds a special place in his heart. Describing the university as “vibrant and inclusive,” his involvement and enthusiasm have never wavered – despite living across the world from campus.

“I have remained an engaged volunteer because I believe in giving back to the community that has played a significant role in shaping who I am today,” says Kant.

As an alumni board director with the Alumni Association Board, and the Honourary Advisor of the Hong Kong Branch and the Asia Chapter, Kant’s passion is shared with fellow alumni who maintain connections and support prospective students and graduates as they embark on their educational and career journeys.

It’s these reasons – and many others – that Kant was chosen as the 2024 recipient of the Spirit of Western Award, bestowed by Western Alumni on Western Day. The award recognizes an alum or group of alumni who embody the spirit of Western through their volunteer commitment and exceptional efforts to enrich the university community.

Kant was elated to be selected the winner. “Receiving this award is not only a meaningful acknowledgment but also serves as powerful motivation for me to persist in my endeavors to support and uplift the university and its alumni. I feel grateful and proud to be acknowledged in this way, and it inspires me to do even more in the future.”  

Kant is now a father of three with a successful career as the Executive Director of China Capital Investment Corporation, a financial advisory firm. Kant has also brought kindness, dedication and expertise to several volunteer roles in Hong Kong. He is currently Regional President of the St. John’s Ambulance Brigade Youth Command, a committee member of the Care of Rehabilitated Offenders Association (Correctional Services) and a region chairperson of the Lion’s Club International.

Although his list of roles is long, Kant will always make room for Western in his life.

“I believe deeply in making a positive impact in the lives of others, and Western has allowed me to do that. Whether it involves organizing fundraising campaigns, supporting scholarships for deserving students or hosting engaging alumni events, the difference we continue to make is truly fulfilling.”