Dan’s first introduction to China was in 1983 when he acted as a shaprone on a Williston Academy student trip to China.
In the course of this three week trip at the very cusp of the transition from Mau to a more progressive society, Dan met ‘Charlie’ Yuan, a Williston alumni from the 1920s. Charlie was an amazing character who was the grandson the first President of China in 1908….boy is that another story. It turned out Charlie’s grandson was current at Williston and Dan was asked to look after the young man alone in America.
That was the start of a thirty year relationship between Dan and Howard Raffa Yuan. Arriving in America with no money and very little english, Howard spent one year at Willison and graduated in the top 10% of his class with a standing ovation at his graduation. Howard got a full scholarship at Wesleyan University and worked hard enough to have a years tuition invested at Fidelity when he graduated. On to Alfred University for a doctorate in Ceramic Engineering, one of 12 in the country that year.
Despite the fact that Howard swore he would never again set foot in China, an opportunity presented itself in the mid 90’s that would change his stance. At the time Howard’s company had developed the material that produces the holographs on currency. China wanted to join the 180 other countries using this material. The short of it is Howard goes back to China to open a facility in Bejing and go on to head up China operations for his company….there is also a long story. Howard now splits his time between California and China.
The opportunity to view China today with a bi-lingual and bi-cultural host was a dream. This trip with Howard, Kristi, Marcia and Dan was magnificent in so many ways.