The Chao Center for Asian Studies houses the B.A. in Asian Studies degree program. The Chao Center brand of Asian Studies focuses on transnational, transhistoric, diasporic, and global movements of peoples and cultures of Asia. The Center was founded with a generous gift from the T.T. and W.F. Chao Foundation, which enables the Center to effectively support faculty research on Asia. The Chao Center also defines itself as a key player in reaching the Asian and Asian American populations in Houston and beyond, promoting community building and broader cultural understanding.
In 1988, Richard Smith, now George and Nancy Rupp Professor Emeritus of History, established Rice University's Asian Studies program and Asian Studies major. During its thirty-year history as an undergraduate major, the Asian Studies program was supported by the enthusiastic participation of Rice faculty and also by grants from various foundations such as the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation. In the mid-2000s working closely with Steven Lewis, C.V. Starr Transnational China Fellow and Professor in the Practice in Asian Studies, Smith proposed the establishment of a transnationally oriented Center for Asian Studies. The Ting Tsung and Wei Fong Chao Foundation generously endowed the Center in 2008, enabling the establishment of the Chao Center for Asian Studies at Rice University.
To make a donation to the Center, please contact Jeanette Zey at email@example.com or 713-348-4669.