UH Manoa Asian Studies Program Receives $1.2 Million Grant

Only 12 Schools Selected throughout the United States

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Shawn Nakamoto, (808) 956-9095
University and Community Relations
Kristen Cabral, (808) 956-5039
University and Community Relations
Posted: Jan 23, 2002

The University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa‘s Asian Studies Program, part of the School of Hawaiian, Asian and Pacific Studies (SHAPS), recently received a $1.2 million grant from the Freeman Foundation. A national competition specifically for undergraduate programs in Asian Studies, the grant will be awarded over a four-year period and will support visiting faculty, faculty travel, study abroad for Asian Studies majors, electronic curriculum delivery, and residencies in Asian arts.

"While it may be unusual for a single academic program to garner such a large grant, a central mission of SHAPS is to raise resources for research and instruction about Asia and the Pacific," said Dr. Willa Jean Tanabe, dean of SHAPS. "With this grant, the Asian Studies program can expand and enrich its offerings."

The Asian Studies program offers students an interdisciplinary approach to the study of Asia at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Its faculty has a wide range of expertise and offers distinctive undergraduate courses on such topics as Central Asia, the southern Philippines, minorities in China, and Asian film. In addition, the program draws upon the rich resources afforded by the various departments on campus, enabling each student to design a program of study tailored to his or her particular interests.

"The residency in the arts component of the grant is unique, and complements the University‘s commitment to expressive culture as one way of understanding Asia," said Dr. Ricardo Trimillos, chair of the Asian Studies program and author of the grant proposal.

The Freeman Foundation, founded by Houghton Freeman, is a national foundation that supports the study and understanding of Asia and its cultures. Houghton "Buck" Freeman and the company he and his family developed into an international powerhouse—American International Group (AIG)—were both born in China during World War I. Eventually, AIG established itself in the United States and was recently ranked No. 15 on the Fortune 500. After his father‘s death in 1992, Buck Freeman established the Freeman Foundation with the mission of strengthening the bonds of understanding between America and China. Most of the Freeman Foundation‘s annual giving of nearly $30 million goes to organizations that foster greater Asian-American appreciation and understanding. Other recipients in Hawaiʻi include the UH Manoa Center for Southeast Asian Studies and the East-West Center.