Dr. Sung Chul Yang and his wife, Dr. Daisy Lee Yang, have pledged a gift of $1 million to the Center for Korean Studies to endow a program to be known as the Drs. Sung Chul Yang and Daisy Lee Yang Lecture Series. The new series will enable the regular appearance at Mānoa of eminent scholars of Korean and Asian affairs.
“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,” Sung Chul Yang explained.
“Gifts such as this one enable us to continue growing as an institution for the education of future Koreanists,” said Center for Korean Studies Director Dr. Sang-Hyop Lee. “They also provide crucial support for our programs to broaden knowledge and understanding of Korea and Asia.”
Sung Chul Yang has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in a wide range of leadership and academic positions. These include serving as a distinguished professor at Korea University; ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the United States; senior adviser and chairman of the Advisory Committee of the Kim Dae-jung Peace Foundation; and member of the 15th Republic of Korea National Assembly.
Born and reared in Korea, Yang earned his B.A. at Seoul National University, his M.A. at the University of Hawai‘i, and his Ph.D. at the University of Kentucky.
“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,” Yang said. “At UH as an East-West Center grantee, I learned the importance of intercultural relations and education.”
He added: “Cultural open-mindedness isn’t all I gained at UH. I met my wife, a third-generation Korean-American, and for this too I am grateful.”
Daisy Jung Jin Lee was born in North Korea. Her family moved to Hawai‘i and she was graduated from McKinley High School. She earned her B.A. from the University of Hawai‘i, M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky, and MAT from the University of Louisville. She had a successful career in academia including professorships at Korea University, Hankook University of Foreign Studies, and Kyunggi Open University in Seoul, Korea.
She also 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.