Alumni Jack Ng and Macy Lau (in green shirts) pose with President Andrew Petter (red shirt) at the 2016 Hong Kong Terry Fox Run.

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Alumni couple brings engagement spirit to SFU Alumni Association in Hong Kong

October 03, 2017
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By Wan Yee Lok

SFU alumni couple Macy Lau (BBA ’97) and Jack Ng (BBA ’01) revived Hong Kong’s SFU Alumni Association six years ago to engage more effectively with the city’s 2,500 alumni. Today, it is SFU’s most active alumni association worldwide, and annually hosts a Terry Fox Run.  

It was pure serendipity that Lau and Ng met just once during their SFU undergraduate studies, and then again on their first day of work at a Vancouver accounting firm.

"Jack made a lasting impression on me when we first met,” recalls Lau. “At the time, I was volunteering as a student tax advisor at the accounting club and he asked me for help with his tax return.”

But his questions were complex and she had to refer him to a real accountant.

“I was part embarrassed and part frustrated that Jack had the audacity to ask for free services from a student like me,” she says.

Adds Ng, “We were both hired by the same accounting firm after graduating, and we both vividly recalled that initial encounter.”

Despite that rocky start, they dated for eight years, moving to Hong Kong in 2001 to further establish their accounting careers. They married in 2006 and now have two young children.

Along the way, as they adjusted to their new lifestyle, Lau and Ng decided it would be beneficial to engage with people who had similar backgrounds and experiences. That’s when they began reinvigorating the city’s SFU Alumni Association.

Then, six years ago, they organized the association’s first Terry Fox Run.

"Growing up knowing about Terry’s legacy, we felt that we could also garner support from participants to fund local cancer research, as well as motivate our friends and family who were battling cancer," says Lau.

Today, the Hong Kong runs have raised more than $300,000 for cancer research in that city.

Ng’s community contributions recently led to a nomination for the Canada 150 Young Alumni Award in Hong Kong and Macao. It recognizes the outstanding achievements and contributions made by alumni from Canadian post-secondary institutions, and showcases the impact and value of Canadian higher education.

When asked for words of advice for current SFU students, the couple recommended that students remain lifelong learners. They have taken their own advice. Ng has become a restaurant entrepreneur while Lau is now pursuing a long-held dream to become a teacher.

“Be passionate about what you do,” they say. “Build on your dreams and live a life without regrets.”