My missive to you brings me back to early last summer, when I spent two weeks in Asia meeting with university and government representatives. Not only was this trip a marvelous way for me to connect with many international studies alumni, it also yielded several exciting initiatives involving East Asian studies.
Chancellor John Wiley and I traveled to Beijing, Hong Kong, Seoul, and Toykyo. There, we signed new partnership agreements with top universities in the region, including Tsinghua University in Beijing and Seoul National University in South Korea. We also met with government officials and enjoyed gatherings of enthusiastic alumni in four cities.
I had the pleasure of meeting many Hong Kong graduates at the UW alumni reunion. I was grateful too, for the opportunity to talk with some of the members of UW’s Hong Kong Student Association, and we were able to reconnect back in Madison a few months later.
In Korea, I’m pleased to say, we finalized a $750,000 gift from the Korea Foundation to establish a permanent faculty position in Korean Studies to be housed in UW–Madison’s Department of History. This gift was matched by the College of Letters and Science.
WAA-Japan hosted a lively reception in Tokyo. There was an impressive number of alumni there, and though there certainly wasn’t enough time to acquaint myself with everyone, I did enjoy meeting quite a few of our Japanese alumni.
And let’s not overlook our great success this fall: the Royal Thai Embassy granted UW–Madison’s Center for Southeast Asian Studies nearly $100,000 to support Thai Studies at UW–Madison. This generous gift will enhance teaching and research on Thai history, culture and society through enhanced collections, frequent visiting scholars and the granting of educational certificates in the field. Click here for more information on the gift.
Happily, as the world becomes increasingly interdependent, our educational opportunities do as well.