University of Hawaiʻi alumni Sung Chul and Daisy Yang have pledged $1 million to establish an endowment to support the Drs. Sung Chul Yang and Daisy Lee Yang Lecture Series. Their pledge will support the advancement of Korean studies by creating a lecture series featuring eminent scholars of Korean or Asian affairs at the Center for Korean Studies at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s School of Pacific and Asian Studies.
“The School of Pacific and Asian Studies is very pleased about the generous gift from the Yangs to the Center for Korean Studies,” said R. Anderson Sutton, School of Pacific and Asian Studies dean. “It will enable us to bring very distinguished lecturers to our campus on a regular basis, offering valuable opportunities for our students and faculty in Asian Studies and Pacific Islands Studies to learn more about Korea—its history, cultural accomplishments and dynamic rise in global prominence.”
The Center for Korean Studies is the oldest and largest Korean studies institution outside Korea. Established in 1972, the center develops and promotes Korean studies internationally. With more than 30 faculty members offering courses or conducting research related to Korea, the center has by far the largest number of Korean studies scholars in any educational institution outside Korea. As an educational, research and informational hub for Korean studies in the United States, the center has served as a support system for students, faculty and the Hawaiʻi community.
Added Center for Korean Studies Director Sang-Hyop Lee, “Gifts such as this one enable us to continue growing as an institution for the education of future Koreanists. They also provide crucial support for our programs to broaden knowledge and understanding of Korea and Asia.”
About Sung Chul Yang
Sung Chul Yang has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in a wide range of leadership and academic positions. These include serving as distinguished professor, Korea University, Seoul; Ambassador of The Republic of Korea (ROK) to the United States; senior adviser and chairman of the advisory committee of the Kim Dae-jung Peace Foundation and member of the 15th ROK National Assembly.
“I not only owe a lifelong gratitude to UH Mānoa and the Center for Korean Studies, but to the U.S. government and American people as well,” said Yang. “At UH as an East-West Center grantee, I learned the importance of intercultural relations and education. We established this endowment to contribute to the building of common ground that our world needs in order to resolve conflict and create a more peaceful world.”
About Daisy Yang
Daisy Jung Jin Lee was born in North Korea. Her family moved to Hawaiʻi and she graduated from McKinley High School. She earned her BA from the University of Hawaiʻi, MS and PhD from the University of Kentucky, and MAT from the University of Louisville.
She had a successful career in academia including professorship at Korea University, Hankook University of Foreign Studies and Kyunggi Open University in Seoul, Korea.
Lee has served in a variety of community leadership roles including the Superintendent’s Task Force and Advisory Committee on Advance Program, and the Community Advisory Committee for Bilingual Education Program, Jefferson County Board of Education in Louisville, Kentucky.
She is the author of Lady Bora from Diamond Mountain, a Korean historical fantasy novel.