Thomas Gorman '73

My career in publishing benefited from my studies in TPP. Editing and teaching have a great deal in common.

I was an East Asian Studies (Chinese) major at Princeton, class of 1973 , with education (TPP) as my minor field of study. My career aspirations and interests included education as well as journalism and communications.  My teaching certification was in social studies as well as Chinese language. I was the first teacher of Chinese to be certified in the State of New Jersey.

Although I have not taught classes (other than as a guest lecturer) since my student teaching days, I have been active in education in the Hong Kong community. I was a board member of the Hong Kong International School for 11 years, and board chair for 3 years. I also served on the board of The Beijing Center, a specialized school in Beijing offering studies in Chinese language and culture to international exchange students.

I have been involved in leadership roles in a variety of other community organizations, many of which have involved education in one way or the other. Having had the benefit of excellent teachers and mentors motivates me to return the favor.

After graduation, I worked as an editor. I gained valuable experience, but my Chinese language vocabulary was evaporating; and I wanted to be in a Chinese speaking environment. That led me to Asia.  I found an editing job in Hong Kong, on China’s southern doorstep. I had the opportunity to visit China before the end of the traumatic Cultural Revolution, so I had a front-row seat for the phenomenal, historic changes which began there in the late 1970s. I became a regular visitor to the Chinese mainland from my new home base in Hong Kong. 

In 1975 we decided to establish a publishing company. Our focus was on China’s opening to the world which at the time was viewed with skepticism by many. Our timing was serendipitous, and within ten years we were publishing several dozen magazines, as well as providing translation and consulting services bridging China and the outside world.  In 2016 my wife and I sold the company to Time Inc., and retired.

My career in publishing benefited from my studies in TPP.  Editing and teaching have a great deal in common.

Not long ago I was contacted through LinkedIn by a former student from my student teaching days in Princeton more than 40 years ago, who is now a successful professional. It was very gratifying and brought back many good memories.