Dennis Foo and Irene Chan love supporting Cal.
They are Malaysian citizens currently splitting their time between Hong Kong and Shanghai, and have two sons, both of whom are undergrads at Cal.
“We wanted to stay connected to the school from afar,” Dennis explains, “while continuously helping Berkeley reach its academic and institutional goals for the future.”
Many aspects of UC Berkeley attracted the Foo family. Cal’s academic excellence is unparalleled across various academic disciplines, from Engineering to English. Another key selling point was Cal’s location in the San Francisco Bay Area, offering ideal weather and numerous opportunities across industries.
“To us, education isn’t simply about getting good grades, but it is a lifelong journey,” shares Foo. “UC Berkeley epitomizes education, offering a space for individuals to challenge ideas, learn, and grow.”
Foo and Chan’s sons have been able to find their place at Cal through various student groups and clubs. Their eldest son beams with enthusiasm when talking about his involvement with an industrial engineering society on campus, while their youngest son is active on the Cal Badminton team.
Foo elaborates, “Both of my sons found it difficult to adjust at first. However, they eventually found that college is truly an independent experience, and it is normal to fail every so often. They have built up a newfound resiliency towards obstacles. I am confident they will build on that in the future, as well.”
Foo and Chan maintain their relationship with Cal through UC Berkeley newsletters and through alumni groups in Hong Kong and Shanghai, where they interact with incoming students, parents, and alumni.
Significantly, making a gift to Cal has also deepened their engagement.
Berkeley’s College of Engineering attracted Foo and Chan's support. Its cutting-edge research and innovation in various fields, and its vast alumni-industry ties made it a natural choice. Foo notes, “I saw the opportunity to support a college that is already a leader in its field, with the right vision in its plan to educate the next generation of leaders.”
Foo and Chan readily share their joy: “The most rewarding part of supporting Berkeley is that we get to be a part of Berkeley’s larger goal to push the envelope in everything it does.”