Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Palo Alto's Chuan Lyu Foundation endow chair in Taiwan Studies

Last month, the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) announced the establishment of the "Chuan Lyu Endowed Chair in Taiwan Studies," with Professor Liao Ping-hui as its inaugural holder of the chair. The endowment was the gift of philanthropist Lee Hwalin, who funded US$500,000 through his foundation, Chuan Lyu. With a full time professor at the helm the endowment will substantially boost the Taiwan Studies program.

During a celebration at UCSD on October 5th, Lee said, “I feel especially honored to have this opportunity since I myself am a beneficiary of the University of California system - having completed my graduate work at the San Francisco campus.”

Lee founded the Chuan Lyu Foundation in 1986 to foster an appreciation for and to preserve Taiwanese culture worldwide. Its mission is very similar to that of the UCSD Taiwan Studies endowment fund, which is “to promote understanding and appreciation of Taiwan’s culture, history, arts, science, technology, medicine… to both the UCSD and San Diego communities…”

Throughout the foundation’s 23-year history, it has sponsored writers, filmmakers and a wide spectrum of Taiwanese cultural events. For the last three years, Chuan Lyu was the main sponsor of the Taiwan Film Festival at Stanford University, the University of San Francisco, the University of California at Berkeley and Davis, the University of Washington (Seattle), Brigham Young University, University of Oregon (Eugene) and Salt Lake City, Utah.

Overseas, the foundation established the Chuan Lyu Lectures in Taiwan Studies at Cambridge University, United Kingdom, in 1991. In April 2007, Lee also contributed to the renovation of the History Building at National Taiwan University, his alma mater. The exhibition hall in the building was renamed Chuan Lyu Hall in recognition of the foundation’s generosity.

The Taiwan Studies program in UCSD started in 2006 with a lecture series funded by the local Taiwanese community and alumnus of San Diego. Liao’s appointment will definitely strengthen the Taiwan Studies program. Liao is a UCSD alumnus and also a Taiwan cultural expert. As a distinguished professor who has primarily worked in the field of comparative literature, post-colonial theory and cultural studies, he will be teaching mainly in the department of literature.

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The Press Division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in San Francisco represents the Government Information Office (GIO), Executive Yuan, Republic of China (Taiwan). GIO maintains nine Press Divisions in the United States, including the San Francisco office. The Press Divisions are in charge of promoting Taiwan's public relations and cultural exchanges. This blog is updated by the Press Division, TECO in San Francisco.