top of page

Launching the 
Stanford Asian American Studies Endowment Initiative




To build the world’s leading program in Asian American Studies through interdisciplinary research, teaching, and scholarship on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI), with the goal of developing culturally-agile global leaders and thriving multicultural communities for the 21st century.

Anti-Asian violence is at an all-time high. We can do something about it.

Stanford is making Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access a priority. We can show our support.

Over 30 years ago, student activists gave rise to the hiring of the first two professors who teach Asian American Studies (AAS) at Stanford. ​


Today, Stanford offers an undergraduate major and minor in AAS under the pedagogical guidance of a limited roster of AAS faculty and affiliated faculty. The current AAS program is under-resourced and does not meet student demand. On a campus where, for nearly two decades, approximately 25% of undergraduates are Asian Americans, the Stanford AAS program has an annual budget for two courses and $5K in discretionary funds. The Director has access to an additional $10-12K from the generous gift of the Arima Family Fund, an endowment gift from Monica Yeung & Adrian ('72) Arima. 

Our long-term goal is to create the Stanford Institute for Asian American Studies (SIAAS) to advance scholarship devoted to understanding the historical, cultural, social, psychological, medical, legal, and policy dimensions of Asian Americans, in collaboration with the Medical School, Law School, Graduate School of Business, the Graduate School of Education as well as the Cantor Center for Visual Arts. This is a multi-year undertaking, and we are at the starting line.

Our immediate goal is to establish an endowment to advance the existing AAS program. These areas of support total $30M


$5 million - Distinguished Faculty Director

$15 million - Three Asian American Studies Professors

$5 million - Full time staff (1 Associate Director, 1 Communications)

$5 million - Programs (Scholars in Residence, Research Grant, Seminar Series)

We can continue the work we started over 30 years ago by giving together now.




We live during a time of divisiveness caused by a lack of understanding between East and West cultures, and yet technology is forcing us ever closer together. Through a leading program at Stanford, my hope is that we create the basis for understanding, cooperation and respect starting with our children so that they may thrive and for all future generations.

Eric Ly, BS '91 

The Asian American community was an integral part of my Stanford experience, but I think it could be so much more for our future leaders. Especially in today’s environment, it’s clear we need a deeper commitment to helping our next generation of Asian American students not only learn about their cultural identities, but also champion greater awareness and change.  We need to do better.

Laura Ching.jpg

Laura Ching, BA '95, MBA '00

An Asian American Studies Department could offer Stanford students the opportunity to develop a more holistic understanding of the world. Creating a formal Asian American Studies Department would facilitate more robust dialogue and education for our students and future leaders.  

Tashrima Hossain, BA '19


We have an opportunity to change the trajectory. Together. Let’s not wait another 30 years. Contribute to the Stanford Asian American Studies Endowment Initiative. We can do this. 

Kesinee Angkustsiri Yip, BA '91 

SAASEI Archive Photo_Kesinee_frosh.jpg

Asians make up 60% of the world's populations and 30% of the Bay Area population.  Stanford is uniquely positioned to be a world leader in Asian American Studies, as the diverse students and faculty represent a microcosm of the world.

Latha Palaniappan, MS '01, Professor Stanford Medical School 

Latha Palaniappan Professional Photo 2020.jpg

My exposure to and awareness of Asian American history and issues didn't begin until I was an undergraduate at Stanford. As I look back on my Stanford years and what's happening in society today, I realize now more than ever how critical it is for us to better educate the broader community on the life experiences of Asian Americans in this country.

Hyoung Park, BA '91 

When Ali Wong, the comedian and UCLA alumna, mined her Asian American identity with clever humor, I felt truly shortchanged that my Stanford education was lacking in Asian American studies. The university’s original endowment was built on the skeletons, blood, and sweat, of the railroad workers, including the many anonymous Chinese workers. Can we catch up with the UCs, overtake the UCs, to learn more about the Asian Americans?

Amy Peng, BA '91 

Blog Posts

Join your classmates!

The following alumni have

committed to the initiative:

Alan Tien  '91

Amy Kouch BS'19, MS'20

Amy Peng '91

Bernadette Chi '91 

Chin-Chin Chen '91, GSB '97

Cindy Wang '97

Don Chin '91

Eric Chen '95, GSB '00

Eric Ly '91

Grace Lee '91

Hyoung Park '91

Irene Lin Iwasaki '91, MD '96

Jacqueline Yau '91

Jack Lo '91, MS '92

Joe Park '91

Jung Choi '91

Keith Chun '91

Kesinee Angkustsiri Yip '91

Dr. Latha Palaniappan MS '01

Laura Chi Hood '91

Laura Ching '95, GSB '00

Nelson Hsu '91, MS '93

Omar Baldonado '91

Pauline Lee '91

Patrick Lin '92 MS '94

Tashrima Hossain '19

Teddy Chen '91, JD '94

Tom Lee '91

Victor Hwang '90, GSB '95

Vince Iwasaki '90

bottom of page