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Chinese lion dancer at the Tien Center dedication
A traditional Chinese lion dancer (bringer of good luck to building sites) helps dedicate the site for the new Chang-Lin Tien Center for East Asian Studies, named for Berkeley's late and much-loved chancellor. Joining in the April 23 dedication were (from left) Florence Davis, president of the C.V. Starr Foundation, which made the lead gift for the East Asian Library to be housed in the center; Tien's widow, Di-Hwa Tien; son Norman Tien; and the Tien grandchildren. The Tien Center will be situated across Memorial Glade from Doe Library, and will be funded entirely by private donations. (Peg Skorpinski photo)

UC Berkeley receives $1 million gift for planned Chang-Lin Tien Center

– The University of California, Berkeley, recently received a $1 million gift from Silicon Valley businessman Saul Yeung for the new Chang-Lin Tien Center for East Asian Studies.

Yeung's donation has been designated to support, in equal parts, the construction of the C. V. Starr East Asian Library and to establish a permanent Chinese Collections Endowment Fund to maintain and build the library's holdings. With the recent gift, fundraising for the library - which will be the first freestanding building entirely dedicated to East Asian collections in the United States - has reached $41.5 million out of an overall $42 million goal. Construction of the library, which is scheduled to begin next February and end in April 2007, is the first phase of the overall construction project.

Named in honor of Chang-Lin Tien, UC Berkeley's beloved chancellor emeritus who died in October 2002, the proposed center will create an eagerly awaited point of convergence for UC Berkeley's world-renowned East Asian studies programs.

Saul Yeung has deep ties to UC Berkeley. Born in China, he received his master's degree in political science and Asian studies at UC Berkeley in 1982 and has returned to his alma mater to study for his Ph.D. He is the founder and president of the Central Group, a Santa Clara-based company with subsidiaries specializing in computer systems, real estate, bamboo flooring, automobiles and training. Yeung also is the executive vice president of a newly formed Berkeley Chinese Alumni International Association, created to foster ties between the UC Berkeley community and China. His younger son, Craig, graduated from UC Berkeley last year.

Made up of two buildings that will be set in the center of campus near Doe Library, the Tien Center will house both the C. V. Starr East Asian Library and the East Asian Studies Center, including academic program offices, classrooms and lounges. By providing a world-class facility, the project will ensure UC Berkeley's preeminent position for the study and teaching of East Asian culture, history, politics, literature and language. First established in 1898, the campus's East Asian Library now totals more than 700,000 bound volumes and serials and attracts visiting scholars from around the world.