Scholarship established in memory of restaurateur
June 23, 2004
A recent donation to SFSU from a local Chinese American family will create the University's first-ever scholarship for international students.
The Diana T.Y. Chung Memorial Scholarship, created with a $25,000 donation from her husband Henry Chung, will award up to two exceptional international students per year with $1,000. Diana Chung died April 10, 2003, at age 84.
"My wife believed very strongly in the values of higher education to better one's life, career and community,” said Henry Chung, who was married to Diana for 57 years. "With this scholarship, we hope to help students from other countries earn college degrees and then utilize their knowledge and skills to the benefit of their families, home country and the United States."
The Chungs are credited for introducing the spicy cuisine of their native Hunan, China, province to taste buds in San Francisco. They opened their first Hunan Restaurant in 1974 in Chinatown, earning rave reviews with Diana Chung as its manager. There are now four locations of the restaurant in the city, all still owned by the family.
A physical education teacher and avid athlete in China before she moved to the United States in 1948, Diana Chung was also a longtime supporter of educational causes. She helped finance the rebuilding of a school in her hometown of Changsha in recent years. Diana and Henry Chung sponsored scholars and students from China to attend SFSU and helped establish an orientation and training program for them. The Chungs also donated to various SFSU endeavors, including the Office of International Programs, University Fund, University Scholarship Fund and Center for Biomedical Laboratory Science.
In her spare time, Chung enjoyed traveling, spending time with her family, Chinese painting and occasional gambling. She visited every major continent and enjoyed sightseeing and learning about foreign cultures and foods, but Reno and Las Vegas may have been her favorite destinations, said her son Howard Chung.
"We are grateful for the generous donations from Henry Chung and honored to offer a scholarship in the memory of his wife," said Yenbo Wu, director of international programs. "The scholarship will help ease the financial burden for bright, hard-working international students, who are not eligible for U.S. government financial aid and have limited opportunities for employment due to student visa regulations."
The Diana T.Y. Chung Memorial Scholarship will likely first be offered in 2005. Criteria and eligibility are not yet finalized.
The SFSU Foundation is accepting further donations in memory of Chung for the scholarship. To make a contribution, make a check out to the SFSU Foundation, include "in memory of Diana T.Y. Chung" on the memo line, and send to: Joy Morimoto, Office of Development, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Ave., San Francisco, Calif., 94132.
SFSU, an increasingly popular destination for foreign college students, enrolled 2,267 foreign students representing more than 100 countries in fall 2003. It has more international students than any other master’s degree-granting institution in the United States except City University of New York-Baruch College, according to 2002-03 figures from the Institute of International Education.
-- Matt Itelson