CUAAHK Fireside Chat - Preparing for a Liberal Arts Education in USA

CUAAHK Fireside Chat - Preparing for a Liberal Arts Education in USA

6PM - 7PM Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Online Event

You are invited to an insightful sharing on the What, Why and How on preparing for a liberal arts education in the USA. Our main panelist is Mr. Greg Vanderheiden (recently retired DBS teacher with 49 years of interviewing experience with Columbia admission), supplemented with experience testimony by parent Mr. Tom Chow (CC and CBS alumnus, and parent of current CC student), and current Columbia student Mr. Sean Lee. This event is for any parent who is interested in learning the pathway of education.

Event Details:

Date: Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Time: 6PM - 7PM

Location: Zoom (link will be sent to registered guests within 24 hours before the event)

RSVP: Please RSVP on this event page

Topics of Discussion

  • What are the different exam systems at high school level?
  • What is a liberal-arts  education and how does it prepare students for university education?
  • How to better prepare children from a young age




Greg Vanderheiden was born and schooled in California. He attended Columbia College (Class of 1973) and served on the College Admissions Committee as a student member. From 1973 he interviewed applicants for admission to the College and the Engineering school. In 1987, after a first career of editing and writing, he received a California teaching credential and became a high-school teacher. He taught in California, Egypt, South Africa, China and, most recently, at the Diocesan Boys’ School in Hong Kong. As a teacher of English literature and theory of knowledge at DBS, he was part of the IB faculty, whose students came to achieve regularly some of the best IB results in the world. His ToK students included a number who scored full marks. He retired from full-time teaching and interviewing last year. Greg has made an important place in his pedagogy for discussion as conducted in Columbia’s colloquium-style classes and at the ‘Harkness tables’ of the Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, US.

Thomas Chow is a retired private investment executive.  He attended DBS prior to Columbia College (Class of 1994) and Columbia Business School (Class of 1999).  He has been interviewing Columbia College applicants as a Columbia Alumni Representative over the past ten years.   He is also a parent of a Columbia student (Class of 2024).  In addition, he co-chairs the mentorship committee of Columbia Business School alumni club of Hong Kong.

He began his career at Lehman Brothers and Salomon Brothers in their New York Office.  Since 1999, he has been based in Hong Kong initially with Citigroup Investment Banking and subsequently heading up private investment desks at Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and Great Wall Asset Management.   He is currently a Venture Partner of Soul Ventures, a HK based technology private equity fund. 

Sean Lee (CC’23)  is a sophomore at Columbia College from Hong Kong, China. Prior to Columbia, he attended Sevenoaks School in the UK. At Columbia, Sean majors in Architecture and History of Art. He is a member of the University’s Global Students Advisory Council and is a student interviewer for undergraduate admissions as part of his involvement with the Global Recruitment Committee. He is also Co-President of the Hong Kong Students and Scholars Society at Columbia. Aside from his interest in the arts, he is an avid sailor and has competed in various world championships. 


This will be moderated by Anita Ma (BUS’99), Chairlady of NGO Playright. Board of Ivy Education Group.  


April 20, 2022 at 6:00pm - 7pm

Zoom (Link will be sent to registered guests within 24 hours of the event)

Will you come?