The UCLA Asia Pacific Center received a gift of US$1 million from the J. Yang and Family Foundation that will help permanently sustain the UCLA Taiwan Studies Program. A J. Yang and Family Foundation Taiwan Studies Endowment will be created using US$750,000 and the remaining US$250,000 will be used to establish a J. Yang and Family Foundation Centennial Scholars Fellowship Endowment.
The UCLA Taiwan Studies Program began in 2014 with initial funding from the Taiwan Ministry of Education. It offers an active array of public programs, conferences, lecture series, visiting scholar exchanges, and curriculum development, and research fellowships and travel grants for faculty and students. The Education Division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Los Angeles (TECO-LA) then signed an agreement with the Asia Pacific Center in 2017, to continue the collaboration to further examine Taiwan’s culture and identity in historical, global, and transnational contexts.
The donation signing ceremony and a press conference were held at UCLA on November, 16. Abraham Chu, the Director General of TECO-LA, and Rebecca Lan, the Director of the Education Division at TECO were invited to attend the ceremony.
“My family has always valued education,” said Jackson Yang, the foundation’s president and CEO. “We greatly appreciate the opportunity to partner with UCLA to sustain scholarly research and teaching on Taiwan and are especially delighted that our gift will support scholarships for UCLA students.” Jackson Yang and his wife Julie Yang are active philanthropists in the Los Angeles area and beyond. They were accompanied by family members at this significant occasion, five of whom graduated from UCLA. Their eldest son Frank Yang mentioned that his father often reminded them of the difficult life in his early life in Taiwan and of Taiwanese people’s diligent spirit. The Yang family sincerely hopes that their donation will set a good example for others to follow, to help the young generations of Taiwanese people in America to learn more about Taiwan and enhance Taiwan’s visibility in international academic circles.
The Asia Pacific Center is one of more than 25 research centers within the UCLA International Institute. It maintains relationships with National Taiwan Normal University and National Chengchi University, and its UCLA Taiwan Studies Program has steadily expanded to serve as a resource center for UCLA faculty and students and the Los Angeles community. In addition, Taiwan’s National Central Library has designated the UCLA Richard C. Rudolph East Asian Studies Library a Taiwan Resource Center for Chinese Studies.
“This gift will enable us to carry Taiwan studies into the next generation and make our program an engagement hub that will advance both public understanding of and academic research and scholarly exchange on Taiwan,” said Min Zhou, Director of the Asia Pacific Center, and the Walter and Shirley Wang Professor of U.S.–China Relations and Communications. Cindy Fan, UCLA Vice Provost for International Studies and Global Engagement also expressed her gratitude for Mr. Yang and his family’s vision and support.
This gift from the Yang family was matched by a US$125,000 grant from the UCLA Chancellor’s Centennial Scholar Match initiative, which will also help provide scholarships to UCLA undergraduates and graduate students pursuing studies of Taiwan.
The J. Yang and Family Foundation is a private 501(c)3 charitable organization based in Torrance, California. Mr. Jackson Yang is the owner of Seville Classic, Inc., in Torrance; chairman of the board of First General Bank in Rowland Heights, California; former president of the Taiwanese-American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Los Angeles; and the 20th president of the World Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce. He is currently also Political Adviser to the Executive Yuan, the executive branch of the Republic of China (Taiwan) government, headed by the premier.
Photo:Front row from left: Abraham Chu, Director General of TECO-LA, Jackson Yang, his wife Julie Yang, UCLA Vice Provost Cindy Fan, Shirley Wang - Chair of the UCLA Foundation board, former ambassador to Panama Jason Yuan, and Min Zhou, Director of the Asia Pacific Center.