Gladys Brooks Foundation endows scholarship in Asian Studies at Fairfield University


The Gladys Brooks Foundation has awarded Fairfield University $100,000 to establish an endowed scholarship in Asian Studies. The scholarship represents an important component in an expanding program in Asian Studies at the Jesuit university and is the second significant gift by the Gladys Brooks Foundation in support of Asian Studies at Fairfield.

The new grant will support a scholarship to be awarded annually to a student with a major or minor in Asian Studies who demonstrates academic achievement, leadership ability and significant involvement in academic, campus and community activities.

In 1989 the Gladys Brooks Foundation awarded Fairfield University another $100,000 to establish an endowment to support acquisitions for the Asian library collection. Since the first funds were available in 1990, over 1,500 books and hundreds of films have been added to Fairfield's collection. In addition, the endowment supports subscriptions to 14 Asian Studies Journals.

Alan Katz, Ph.D., professor of politics and director of the Program in Asian Studies, said the size and quality of the library in Asian Studies is unusual for a school the size of Fairfield and has been invaluable to students conducting research. "We have seen a significant increase in the number of students interested in studying about Asia and the Gladys Brooks Foundation has played a key role in making that possible," he said. "The addition of this endowed scholarship provides important support for students interested in Asian Studies.

Fairfield offers a minor in Asian Studies, but students also are given the option to craft a major and as a result there are presently three majors as well as 20 minors. Two Fairfield students have studied in China and four more are there this semester. Another student is studying in Vietnam.

Fairfield's program focuses on China and Japan and the entire Asian land mass bounded by the Pacific, Arctic, and Indian oceans.

In many ways Fairfield offers fertile ground for an Asian Studies program to take root. Several faculty members teach specialized areas of Asia, including Danke Li, Ph.D., assistant professor of history and an Asian scholar; and Ronald Davidson, Ph.D., professor of religious studies and an internationally recognized scholar in Buddhism. Lik Kuen Tong, Ph.D., professor of philosophy, is the founder of The International Institute for Field Being, which bridges eastern and western thought.

The Gladys Brooks Foundation in New York, created under the will of the late Gladys Brooks Thayer, establishes and supports non-profit libraries, educational institutions, hospitals and clinics.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on March 13, 2003

Vol. 35, No. 232