Thomas Wong bleeds Carolina blue.
He’s a proud double Tar Heel, receiving first a Ph.D. in biochemistry and then his M.P.H. in public health administration from Carolina. But would you believe that he’s not the most decorated alumnus in his family? That honor belongs to his wife, Sandy Moulton. “She bested me and has three degrees from UNC.” Sandy and Thomas met at Granville Towers in 1971 — an event he describes as his favorite and most significant Carolina memory.
Growing up, Wong had visions of going east from his native San Francisco for college and made that dream a reality when he moved to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, for graduate school. “The graduate school and post-graduate programs experience provided the compass for a 25-plus-year career in the pharmaceutical and biotech arena.”
Thomas and Sandy credit their fulfilling careers to the education they received at UNC-Chapel Hill. To show their appreciation, they have a long history of sharing their time and talents to support Carolina. Both have served on the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health Foundation Board and the UNC Board of Visitors (Thomas is part of the Class of 2020), and Thomas is a current member of the Diversity Strategy Committee (DSC). This service allows them to play a meaningful role in shaping the University’s plans for the future and in recruiting the best and brightest to Chapel Hill.
As a member of the DSC, Thomas plans to engage with fellow Asian-American alumni and help get them involved across campus affairs and programs. He will find out what academic, career, cultural and/or entrepreneurial programs alumni are interested in and offer a way to support them by engaging minority alumni to participate in the Campaign for Carolina. And if a program doesn’t exist, he hopes to find a way to create it, like with plans to establish and manage the formation of a new community of Asian-American alumni. Important goals of Thomas’s work are enriching the Carolina experience among minority students and alumni and enabling Carolina to offer life-changing experiences to the next generation of students.
Supporting the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health remains a priority for Thomas and Sandy. The first scholarship they established rotated between health policy management and epidemiology. Thanks to continued gifts over the years, it is now an endowed scholarship and the first one with a goal of attracting minority students from North Carolina to study at Gillings. But Thomas and Sandy are most proud of a second scholarship. Named after Sandy’s mother, Susanne Lynas Moulton, and aunt, Jean Lynas, who both served as U.S. Army nurses during World War II, this scholarship will help attract students with nursing and/or military backgrounds to the school.
Thomas says, “The career outcomes achieved and the benefits received of an education at UNC are what drive my wife and me toward giving back to the University. Both my wife and I have been lucky in our career choices made, and we want to give back to UNC so that up-and-coming students can consider all the many career options before them and not be deterred by funding limitations.”