East Asian Fellowships Funded on Unprecedented Scale

The Richard U. Light Foundation of Kalamazoo, Michigan, working with Yale University faculty, has established a program to enable Yale students to study East Asian languages in East Asia. During 1997-1998, approximately 12-16 students will be awarded a total of $250,000 in fellowships to study at sites in the People’s Republic of China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan.

“The Light Foundation’s emphasis on the importance of foreign language study and global exposure is extraordinarily forward-thinking. Yale is enormously grateful to the late Dr. Light for his generosity,” says Yale College Dean Richard Brodhead.

“Dr. Light and his family have had a long association with Yale University and felt that the study of Asian languages would prove to be a genuine asset for Yale,” says Howard Kalleward, president of the Richard U. Light Foundation. “The Pacific Basin has now become the main force of global trade and investment, and its countries account for one-half of the world’s total output of goods and services. China is the most populous country, and Japan is our second largest trading partner. In Dr. Light’s opinion, these two facts would justify a strenuous effort to dissolve the language barriers between our nations.”

“This splendid and timely gift builds on the existing and expanding strengths of East Asian Studies at Yale,” observes Helen Siu, professor of anthropology and chair of the Council on East Asian Studies. “The learning of East Asian languages in their original cultural environments has the added value of creating cultural sensitivities towards a region the importance of which the world needs increasingly to acknowledge.”

Light Fellowships will be the major source of program funds for language students’ transportation, tuition, room and board, health insurance, and a small stipend, and may be used for whole year, single term, or summer programs or combinations thereof. Fellows will be selected based a general competition among Yale students of all departments and schools, with emphasis on undergraduates in Yale College. Citizenship will not be a factor in the selections. Applicants must have achieved some basic mastery of the language they intend to study, but may not be fluent speakers of the language. Edward Kamens, professor of Japanese literature, is faculty director of the fellowships.

Richard Upjohn Light 1902-1994, the founder of the foundation, was a pioneer neurosurgeon and aviator, avid cinematographer, and president of the American Geographical Society. He flew around the world by seaplane in 1934-35, and down the length of South America, across the Atlantic, and up the length of Africa in 1937-38. He earned an undergraduate degree from Yale in 1924 and an M.D. from the University of Michigan Medical School in 1928. From 1937-1968, he was a director of the Upjohn Company, the pharmaceuticals company founded by his grandfather, W.E. Upjohn.

He returned to New Haven as director of the surgical laboratory at Yale Medical School from 1933-35. In 1947 he was a member of the committee that rebuilt the Yale-in-China program now called the Yale China Association, which had shut down during World War II. He served on the Yale University Council from 1956-1963. In 1962, Dr. Light endowed an undergraduate scholarship which is still awarded each year. Programs Currently Recommended for Light Fellowship Study

For the study of Chinese:

1. Inter-university Program, Taipei

2. Mandarin Training Center, Taipei

3. C.E.T in Harbin

4. C.E.T. program in Beijing

5. C.I.E.E. program in Nanjing

6. Princeton-in-Beijing summer program

For the study of Japanese:

1. Inter-university Center for Japanese Language Studies, Yokohama

2. Kyoto Center for Japanese Studies KCJS

3. Nanzan University Center for Japanese Studies

4. Nagoya University, Japanese Language and Cultural Education Program

5. Kanazawa Program, Princeton University/Ishikawa Prefecture

For the study of Korean:

1. Sogang University, Korean Language Education and Research Institute*

2. Yonsei University, International Division/Korean Language Institute*

3. Korea University, International Education Program*

* All are in Seoul, South Korea

The list of recommended sites is expected to grow as additional sites are visited by Yale faculty members in the coming months.

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Gila Reinstein: gila.reinstein@yale.edu, 203-432-1325