The University of California, San Diego, is poised to become one of the few universities in the U.S. with an endowed lecture series focusing specifically on Taiwan, thanks to the generosity of the local Taiwanese-American community.
The establishment of an endowed Taiwan Studies Lecture Series has been made possible by a gift from the Taiwanese American Foundation of San Diego, which will present a $100,000 check to UCSD Chancellor Marye Anne Fox during a celebration on May 15 at the Price Center Theatre beginning at 7:30 p.m. The event will feature two noted Taiwanese-Americans, vocalist Hsun Hsun Hsu and pianist Dr. Julie Wong, who will be performing music by Taiwanese composers.
"We are deeply grateful to the Taiwanese American Foundation of San Diego for its generosity in establishing this important lecture series," said Chancellor Fox. "We are also proud that with this gift, we will encourage better understanding of Taiwan and future collaborations."
The mission of the Taiwan Studies Lecture Series is to promote understanding and appreciation of Taiwan's arts, culture, history, medicine, science and technology within the UCSD and larger San Diego communities. Distinguished scholars and artists will present their work at public lectures, performances and exhibits each May, in conjunction with Asian-American Heritage Month and Taiwanese-American Heritage Week, which is celebrated May 13-20 this year. In 2007, lectures on Taiwan's literature, medicine and high-tech industry are planned in addition to a concert.
"The establishment of the Taiwan Studies Lecture Series is an excellent way to deepen public understanding of the many achievements of Taiwan and of Taiwanese-Americans," said Michael Bernstein, dean of the Division of Arts and Humanities. "We are delighted with the scholarly and cultural promise of this thoughtful and generous initiative, which will have a welcome home in the arts and humanities at UCSD."
The project was initiated by Ming T. Tsuang, distinguished university professor and director of the Center for Behavioral Genomics of the Department of Psychiatry, and Charles W. Tu, associate dean of the Jacobs School of Engineering. When Tsuang joined UCSD in 2005, he found the local Taiwanese-American community very receptive to the idea of instituting a Taiwan Studies program.
"I'm grateful to the San Diego Taiwanese-American communities and the UCSD administration for establishing this program at UCSD," said Tsuang.
Tu added: "We appreciate all the guidance and support we have received and we are grateful to Dean Bernstein for his enthusiasm in establishing the Taiwan Studies Lecture Series in his division. We are very happy to be able to make a contribution to Taiwan, our homeland, and to UCSD."
The Taiwanese American Foundation of San Diego plans to raise an additional $200,000 in private philanthropic support by June 2007 to expand the Taiwan Studies program.