The UCLA Asia Pacific Center has received a gift of $1 million from the J. Yang and Family Foundation that will help permanently sustain the UCLA Taiwan Studies Program. Of the total, $750,000 will create the J. Yang and Family Foundation Taiwan Studies Endowment and $250,000 will establish the J. Yang and Family Foundation Centennial Scholars Fellowship Endowment.
“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.”
The Taiwan studies endowment will support Asia Pacific Center programs that promote understanding of the people, history and culture of Taiwan, both in the U.S. and internationally. The fellowship endowment gift — which was matched by a $125,000 grant from the UCLA Chancellor’s Centennial Scholars Match initiative — will provide scholarships to UCLA undergraduates and graduate students pursuing studies on Taiwan.
“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.
The Asia Pacific Center is one of more than 25 research centers within the UCLA International Institute.
The Taiwan Studies Program was founded in 2014 with initial funding from the Taiwan Ministry of Education. It offers an active array of public programs, conferences and lecture series, visiting scholar exchanges and curriculum development, and research fellowships and travel grants for faculty and students. Among its recent programs were an international conference about indigenous knowledge and settler colonialism, and a book talk on parenting, immigration and class in Taiwan and the U.S. by Pei-Chia Lan, a professor at National Taiwan University.
The program has steadily expanded to serve as a resource center for UCLA faculty and students and the Los Angeles community. It maintains relationships with National Taiwan Normal University and National Chengchi University. In addition, The UCLA Richard C. Rudolph East Asian Studies Library has been designated a Taiwan Resource Center for Chinese Studies by the Taiwan National Central Library.
“This gift will propel the Taiwan Studies Program and UCLA’s engagement with Taiwan to new heights,” said Cindy Fan, UCLA vice provost for international studies and global engagement. “We’re grateful to Mr. Yang and his family for their vision and support.”
The J. Yang and Family Foundation is a private 501(c)3 charitable organization based in Torrance, California. 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 and his wife, Julie Yang, have two sons, a daughter and two children-in-law who have graduated from UCLA, and they are active philanthropists in the Los Angeles region and beyond.
The gift is part of the Centennial Campaign for UCLA, which is scheduled to conclude in December 2019 during UCLA’s 100th anniversary year.