Million-Dollar Pledge Will Underwrite Korean Studies Distinguished Lecture Series

photo: Daisy L. and Sung Chul YangDr. 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.