Thomas lauded for contributions to China MBA program

Release Date: September 30, 2013 This content is archived.

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- John M. Thomas, professor of operations management and strategy in the University at Buffalo School of Management, was given an award for his significant contributions to UB’s China MBA program at the Dalian University of Technology.

Edward Dianhui Dong, MBA ’91, VP and general manager of China operations for NDC Infrared Engineering, presented Thomas with a plaque of gratitude on behalf of graduates of UB’s Dalian MBA program at a ceremony hosted by UB President Satish K. Tripathi on Oct. 3.

Thomas directs the School of Management’s HSBC Center for Global Business Leadership, which provides opportunities in international business for management students. He also is dean emeritus and served as associate dean of international programs for the school.

When U.S. President Ronald Reagan announced the creation of the School of Management’s Dalian program during a diplomatic trip to China in 1984, the news made headlines all over the world for being the first U.S. MBA program in China.

Thomas was one of the founding faculty and later became dean of the Dalian program, which graduated more than 200 students before ending in 1988 in the aftermath of the Tiananmen Square incident. He championed the School of Management’s historic return to China in 1998, collaborating with Renmin University in Beijing, China, to launch China’s first Executive MBA program.

The School of Management has been praised by Businessweek as “a pioneer in the Asian market for management education.”

“With gratitude, respect and friendship, we Dalian MBA Alumni are honored and proud to present this award to Dean Emeritus John Thomas in recognition of his outstanding leadership in UB’s Dalian MBA program and his contributions to the development of China MBA education over the past 30 years,” said Dong, who is a 2012 China Economy Top 10 Business Leader and serves on the School of Management Dean’s Advisory Council. “China is grateful to UB and will remember those who helped China to start MBA education.”

The UB School of Management is recognized for its emphasis on real-world learning, community and economic impact, and the global perspective of its faculty, students and alumni. The school also has been ranked by Bloomberg Businessweek, the Financial Times, Forbes and U.S. News and World Report for the quality of its programs and the return on investment it provides its graduates. For more information about the UB School of Management, visit

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system that is its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB’s more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.

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Jacqueline Molik Ghosen
Assistant Dean and Director of Communications
School of Management