Alumni trekkers raise funds for the Oxford China Centre Library

Oxford alumni and staff are taking part in a challenging sponsored seven-day trek in China and Tibet to support an important and expanding library. The group will hike 78 miles through spectacular and mountainous terrain as part of the Yading ‘Big Kora’ trek, which begins on Sunday 14 June. 

Money raised from the expedition will be used to buy new books and electronic materials for the Bodleian KB Chen China Centre Library in the Oxford China Centre at St Hugh’s College.

Sponsor the trekkers

The trekkers are:

  • Chris Drake (Exeter, 1971): Named as a Distinguished Friend of Oxford in 2011, Chris is a long-time supporter of the University and played a key role in setting up the Oxford China Office in 2007. He has lived in Asia for more than 25 years, and works in Hong Kong as a legal advisor.
  • Carl Ericson (Oriel, MBA, 2009): After receiving an MBA from the Saïd Business School at Oxford, Carl moved to Asia, spending over two years in Singapore before moving to Hong Kong, where he now works at a large financial services firm. 
  • Jeremy Woodall (Director of Development, Asia, University of Oxford): Since joining the Oxford China Office in Hong Kong in November 2010, Jeremy has worked to bolster Oxford’s outreach to donors, alumni and friends across Asia. He previously ran the University of Toronto’s Asia-Pacific Advancement Office in Hong Kong.

The circular route will begin in Shangri-La in northern Yunnan province before traveling to the Tibetan settlement of Yading. Trekker Chris Drake said: "It’s reputed to be an extraordinarily scenic trek, combining spectacular Himalayan mountain splendour with cultural and spiritual interest as our route follows a sacred pilgrimage route for local Tibetans circumambulating three sacred 6,000+ metre peaks sanctified in the 8th century. Our guide says that no previous similar experience is required but one needs to be reasonably fit for the regular ascents and descents during around six hours of hiking each day – and imbued with a spirit of adventure!"

Reflecting upon why the trekkers have chosen to support the Oxford China Centre, Chris added: "As the changes that have been taking place within China over the past few decades continue to unfold, with enormous effects on and implications for others within Asia and beyond, it’s crucial to try to understand, make sense of and work with all that is happening, while also seeing it within its historical and contemporary context."

The University’s Oxford China Centre, which was opened in 2014, is a world-class hub for the study of China, with over 45 academics in Oxford focusing on China-related research and teaching in a wide variety of disciplines. At the heart of this enterprise is the Bodleian KB Chen China Centre Library, which provides a world-class library service for students and scholars of China. With a collection of over 45,000 volumes and a range of electronic resources, it is also a contemplative study space, playing a pivotal role in the life of the centre.