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Asian studies institute founded

Anna Boarini | Friday, November 5, 2010

The gift for the recently established Institute for Asia and Asian studies will offer a new program to students at the University, J. Nicholas Entrikin, vice president and associate provost for Internationalization, said.

The Institute for Asia and Asian Studies was created with an endowment from the RM Liu Foundation, a philanthropic group that supports the activities of the Liu family, whose children graduated from Notre Dame.

Emily Liu graduated in 1994 with a degree in psychology and her brother Justin graduated in 2000 with a degree in finance. Justin Lui is a member of the College of Arts and Letters Advisory Council and also serves on the Asian Studies Advisory Board, according a University press release.

Emily and Justin Liu left their gift to Notre Dame in honor of their grandfather, a World War II general in the Chinese army who rescued 7,000 British and 500 American soldiers from the Japanese.

“This gift from the RM Liu Foundation was necessary to start the Institute,” Entrikin said.

The Institute is an extension of the Center for Asian Studies, which the University established in 1997. The Center was created in attempt to increase emphasis on Asia.

In 2005, the provost appointed a task force on Asian Studies to help determine the “rewards” of creating a University program centered entirely on Asia, according to the release.

“This [institute] allows for an interdisciplinary institute that will make more visible the opportunity to study about Asia,” Entrikin said.

This endowment from the Liu family created the Institute for Asian Studies, as well as an intensive summer Chinese program in Taiwan, and such cultural events as the Asian Film Festival and Conference.

The Institute’s goals will include multidisciplinary and collaborative research that will develop Asian-based initiatives to help solidify Notre Dame’s presence in Asia as the world’s foremost Catholic research university, the release said.

“Any exchange program wants students and information to go in both directions and this will help us understand Asia and its economy more,” Entrikin said.