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From student to donor: how determination shapes future success at Concordia

Zhuo Ling gives back to thank others who helped pave the way
June 17, 2020
By Donna Varrica, BA 81

“As a recipient of multiple scholarships, I benefited from the generosity of alumni and supporters. It is an honour for me to pay it forward,” says Zhuo Ling.

When Zhuo Ling, BComm 11, was a student in finance at Concordia’s John Molson School of Business (JMSB), he had a bold idea. Convinced that he would benefit more from a double major — the other being in economics at the Faculty of Arts and Science — he advocated that any double combination of majors should be available for students.

Ling recognized it would be a long shot, but he persevered. He approached George Kanaan, then associate dean of Academic and Student Affairs at JMSB. Though he graduated before the formal change was approved, Ling credits Kanaan for seeing his request through. In gratitude to Kanaan, who is now a professor in the Department of Accountancy, Ling created the Dr. George Kanaan Scholarship at Concordia.

“I wanted to establish the scholarship to honour Kanaan because he listened and believed in me,” Ling says. “Ultimately, he changed the life of future generations of JMSB students who want to pursue multidisciplinary studies.”

Gratitude goes a long way

Ling’s appreciation extends to his parents, in whose names he established two additional awards — the Jinyue Ling Bursary and the Manjiang Zhuo Scholarship — at the Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science.

After immigrating to Canada from China in 1997, Ling’s father took on what he calls a traditionally new-immigrant job — working at a dépanneur — to provide for his family.

His mother pursued undergraduate and master’s degrees in computer science at Concordia — today, Manjiang Zhuo, BCompSc 00, MASc 04, is a senior software engineer at an American technology firm in Boston.

“Concordia and the computer science program have played an integral role for my family. As a recipient of multiple scholarships, I personally benefited from the generosity of alumni and supporters. It is therefore an honour for me to pay it forward to those who are engaged at the university.”

Reflecting on his time at Concordia, Ling says he met brilliant people from various cultures and backgrounds, all working together towards a common goal, whether it was group work or organizing orientation week.

“Our views were so different we might as well have been coming from different planets. In the end, we learned from each other and opened our minds to different perspectives,” he says.

“Concordia is a perfect reflection of Montreal and its diverse communities.”

Your generosity in action
Read more inspiring stories like this one in Momentum, our newsletter for loyal Concordia donors.

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