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J. Yang Scholarship Program to be established at UC San Diego with $1.5M gift

Support from the J. Yang & Family Foundation will help Taiwanese students attend UC San Diego, as well as support the university in building partnerships with institutions in Taiwan

Jackson Yang and Elizabeth H. Simmons signing agreement

Jackson Yang, president of the J. Yang & Family Foundation, and Elizabeth H. Simmons, Executive Vice Chancellor at UC San Diego, signed the grant agreement. (Photos by Erik Jepsen, UC San Diego Publications)

The University of California San Diego will receive a $1.5 million grant over five years from the J. Yang & Family Foundation to fund a broad initiative that will engage departments, divisions and schools across the university. A key component of the grant will be to help increase Taiwanese student admissions and provide a transition and support infrastructure for the J. Yang scholar cohort that will pave the way for a successful graduate career.

The foundation will establish the J. Yang Scholarship Program at UC San Diego to fund undergraduate and graduate scholarships and research programs for the purpose of recruiting and retaining highly promising future scholars from Taiwan high schools and universities. The grant will also support student research programs for UC San Diego students studying in Taiwan; travel and residencies for UC San Diego faculty and researchers; and an annual bilateral symposium to discuss topics of mutual interest, including current research partnerships, results of research collaborations and opportunities for seeding future activities.

“UC San Diego is home to a vibrant community of students and scholars from Taiwan who have had a remarkable impact on our campus community and research trajectory,” said UC San Diego Executive Vice Chancellor Elizabeth H. Simmons. “Through the J. Yang Scholarship Program, we hope to increase the number of Taiwanese graduate students. In addition, we expect to offer scholastic exchanges, academic networking, and experiential education opportunities in humanities, arts, science, engineering and other areas that will help us address the world’s most pressing problems.” 

Added Jackson Yang, president of the J. Yang & Family Foundation charitable organization based in Torrance, California, “We believe and expect these experiences will educate and motivate our leaders of the future, who would appreciate each other’s cultures as well as collaborate and work together to make the greatest contribution to solving global common problems and improving the lives and society of all people.”

J. Yang & Family Foundation members along with UC San Diego administration

J. Yang & Family Foundation members along with UC San Diego administration, faculty and staff celebrated the launch of the J. Yang Scholarship Program at UC San Diego.

Born in Taiwan, Yang immigrated to the U.S. in his early 40s. He learned international trade at the age of 16 in Taiwan and started to build his business empire from scratch in America. Today, he is CEO of Seville Classics, Inc., a leading innovator in home organization and garage storage solutions, and chairman of First General Bank (FGB).

Why did he choose UC San Diego to launch the J. Yang Scholarship Program? Yang explained, “UC San Diego has only been established for nearly 60 years, but it has become the world’s top research university. With an annual research budget of $1.2 billion dollars, coupled with the help of powerful local bioengineering companies, it is one of the best higher education institutions in science and engineering education in the United States.”

The J. Yang Scholarship Program Steering Committee, under the leadership of principal investigators Shu Chien, director of UC San Diego Institute of Engineering in Medicine, and Ping-hui Liao, professor of literary and cultural studies, reflects diverse areas at UC San Diego with existing Taiwan relationships.  They will guide the progress of the program, review activities and impact annually, and make decisions on overall program direction.   

In partnership with UC San Diego’s Division of Global Education—which includes the International Students and Programs Office, International Faculty and Scholars Office, Study Abroad UC San Diego and the Graduate Division—the committee will facilitate and manage the undergraduate and graduate scholarships and programs. The Steering Committee will identify Taiwanese student applicants to the university and work with the departments to determine student placement across the academic divisions each year.

The J. Yang & Family Foundation grant contributes to the Campaign for UC San Diego. Through this university-wide comprehensive fundraising effort concluding in 2022, the university is enhancing student support, ensuring student success, transforming the campus, connecting the community, and redefining medicine and health care on a global scale. Together with philanthropic partners, UC San Diego will continue its nontraditional path toward revolutionary ideas, unexpected answers, lifesaving discoveries and planet-changing impact. Visit the Campaign for UC San Diego website at campaign.ucsd.edu.


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