’91, MBA ‘96
Being Asian American hasn’t been a big part of my identity. Immigrating to NJ from South Korea at age 5, I fell right into being an American, New Jersey style. Big Farah Fawcett hair, Jersey shore hang outs, and longing to (but rarely) go clubbing in the City (NYC). On Sundays though, our family went to a Christian Korean church, and we socialized with other Korean American kids. It was easy to compartmentalize.
My Stanford undergrad experience was the first time where my Asian American-ness felt legitimized. I wasn’t alone, with 30% of the student body being of Asian descent and having our very own activities center (go A3C!). Fast forward to today: I am married to a Korean American born in NY, and we are raising 2 active teenagers in CA. My work in biotech has led me to sickle cell disease, an inherited disease that affects mostly black and brown people. As multi-cultural as our country is and the tremendous opportunities from which I’ve personally benefited, I’m deeply saddened by systemic racism in all of its breath-taking forms targeting us people of color. AAPI hate is just the tip of the iceberg.
I have such fond memories and a love of Stanford, where I met my husband and my besties. I’ve been a loyal donor for 30 years. I’d like my giving to have higher impact aligned with community values. Stanford the institution is so well-positioned to be a leader in Asian American Studies and a model of true diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice. Establishing an Asian American Studies Institute would be a powerful statement of Stanford’s commitment to its own IDEAL program, and could be a center for scholarship, community building, and societal influence for generations to come. Let’s make this happen, amazing people!
Jung E. Choi
Class of ’91, MBA ‘96