On the cusp of our centennial year, the Office of Institutional Advancement reached out to Limin Kong P’23 to learn her thoughts on this milestone and to hear why she chooses to support IMS.
IMS: When you give, whether it’s your time, energy, or resources, what do you hope to achieve?
LK: One of the best ways to leave your mark in life is to give back, if you can, to every community you live in. When I was a boarding student myself, I found that the parents of certain classmates participated in various school activities. At concerts, one might serve as the conductor; another parent’s painting might appear in a seasonal arts festival. In this way, parents could contribute and have an impact. Since then, I guess I’ve always had the expectation that when I had children of my own, I would take every opportunity to get involved.
At my daughter Tiffany’s elementary school, we supported the robotics club in its travels to competitions throughout Asia. As a result I was able to see Tiffany’s maturation up close, and that was tremendously gratifying. Kids grow up, and families aren’t always able to sustain the togetherness you can experience when they’re young. So it’s my hope that wherever Tiffany goes in life, in all the communities to which she happens to belong, she can identify some trace of her parents’ contributions and feel that love and affirmation.
IMS: As the driving force behind our annual Lunar New Year celebration and a major contributor to the Annual Fund, you have certainly gotten involved and had a tremendous impact here on campus. What makes IMS so deserving of your energy and generosity?
LK: Well, it’s been a miracle for us. We spent the 2020 academic year, which was Tiffany’s first “at” IMS, weathering the pandemic in a small Hong Kong apartment. Other parents and many of my friends told me, “Remote learning is not good; it’s not enough.” But our experience was quite different. With Zoom classes going on in that tiny space, I was privy to everything, and I found the courses rigorous and engaging. Every teacher was excellent. And so, with the aid of audiobooks for me, Tiffany and I embarked on this journey of learning together, and it was wonderful––such a silver lining in an otherwise challenging year. Given the circumstances, her experience could not have been better. IMS really put its best foot forward. We both learned so much!
Then, the following year, when we moved to Sharon and Tiffany became a day student, it struck me how confident she was. Early on, she came home and told me, “Mom, everyone’s so nice, but they’ve known each other a long time. They don’t know me yet, but they will. Trust me: after one month, I’ll have a close friend.” And she was right. She hit the ground running on all fronts: academic, social, athletic, music. In the last year she’s been inspired to become a composer, and she is so brave about putting herself and her work out there. What I came to realize was that all this confidence grew from the constant support of her advisor, her teachers, her coaches––all the mentors IMS had placed around her––and that this was the source of her success and newfound self-assurance. The school has given Tiffany so much, so we’re happy to give back.