UCI Alumni Association board member Dennis Nguyen '94 has established a $100,000 endowment to help underwrite educational costs for a first-year graduate student studying Chinese language and literature at UC Irvine.
The Dennis Nguyen Graduate Chinese Literature Fellowship will be awarded to outstanding graduate students with financial need in the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures. The department, in UCI's School of Humanities, focuses mainly on the written works and cultures of China, Korea and Japan. Professor Martin W. Huang, an expert in the cultural history of Imperial China, is department chair.
"This fellowship is a vital recruitment tool in the department's ongoing efforts to attract the best and brightest students to UCI," said Vicki L. Ruiz, humanities dean. "Need-based fellowship funding such as this is especially critical in ensuring both access and opportunity "We're grateful to Dennis for his passionate support of East Asian Languages and Literatures, a department with global reach and community connections."
Nguyen graduated from UCI in 1994 with bachelor's in economics and Chinese language and literature. He earned a master's in international relations from Johns Hopkins University and a law degree from the University of Minnesota. Currently pursuing an M.B.A. at the University of Chicago, Nguyen is co-founder and chairman of New Asia Partners, one of China's leading private-equity investment firms. He joined the UCIAA Board of Directors in April 2008.
"Each of us at UCI has a responsibility to help create an environment where all of our students can grow and become successful global citizens. Dennis' remarkable gift is a testament to his commitment to the university, our students and the future of our global community," said Jorge E. Ancona, executive director of UCIAA. "He is a valued member of our board of directors and a tireless advocate for the university. We are flattered that he has entrusted us to serve as custodians of his endowment."
"UCI has had such an important impact on my life," Nguyen said. "I'm always proud of being an Anteater, and I'm honored to be in a position where I can help future UCI graduate students become the next generation of leaders by creating what I hope is a lasting legacy."
The UCI Alumni Association will host its 39th annual Lauds & Laurels awards ceremony 6 p.m. Thursday, May 14, at the Hilton Irvine. This year, former undergraduate dean James N. Danziger will receive the Extraordinarius award, the association's highest honor. Seventeen other distinguished individuals also will be recognized for their commitment to UCI. Individual tickets to the ceremony are $250; 10-person tables also are available. For information or reservations, call 949-824-2586