Since the start of social distancing, Spartans across our community have worked hard to connect with each other in innovative ways. In Hong Kong last month, two Broad College graduates organized a virtual event for alumni around the world to connect — with a unique twist.

Professional headshot of Broad alumnus Calvin Lai

Calvin Lai (B.A. Marketing ’12)

Hosted by Calvin Lai and Yvonne Lo, the “Stay Safe and Keep Eating” event featured the two creating a variety of MSU-themed dishes, including a Spartan mimosa, soft-baked green and white cookies and caprese bagels. They also reminisced about their time as Spartans.

“The point of this is to showcase some easy dishes so everyone can have fun while getting through the difficult times we’ve all had,” Lai said.

Lai completed his B.A. in marketing in 2012 and has worked in Hong Kong ever since. He currently serves as project lead for marketing consulting agency MONOGIC. He has also been an active member of the MSU Hong Kong Spartans Alumni Club, where he currently serves as co-vice president. In his role, he helps organize events and coordinate education abroad trips each summer for current Broad marketing students.

Lo graduated from the School of Hospitality Business in 1999 with a focus on international hospitality. After returning to Hong Kong several years ago, Lo now serves as a guest culinary instructor at MasterChef Academy.

In addition to their love for their alma mater, Lo and Lai both share a love for the culinary arts and operate food-based Instagram channels. Lo’s profile, ylo.lo, captures her own baked creations, and Lai’s, clai_eats, charts his experiences at restaurants, cafés and bars.

“Like many others during COVID, I decided to share my passion for cooking with friends and family through a series of YouTube videos,” Lo said. When Lai approached her with the idea to host a virtual event together, she was eager to be involved.

Professional image of Broad alumna Yvonne Lo

Yvonne Lo (B.A. Hospitality Business ’99)

“Calvin approached me to host a gathering session by cooking together, and we came up with a green and white food theme to give it an extra MSU spirit,” she said. “The whole idea is to lift each other’s spirit in these stressful and lonely times.”

This event was part of the ongoing “Spartan Spotlight Series,” a quarterly professional networking series started by the MSU Hong Kong Spartans Alumni Club in late 2019.

“We invite fellow Hong Kong Spartans and friends, usually from other Big Ten schools, to form a panel discussion and share their views on a certain topic, while having the opportunity for everyone to connect with each other,” Lai explained. “We’ve had a strong connection with other Big Ten schools here in Hong Kong and organize social events together regularly.”

The event was a perfect way for Spartans around the globe to feed their desire to connect and try new recipes that keep the Green and White spirit alive in exciting ways.

View a recording of the “Stay Safe and Keep Eating” event here.