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Chang-Lin Tien

Former Chancellor Chang-Lin Tien in 1997 when he was honored at International House for fostering excellence through diversity.

Former Chancellor Chang-Lin Tien, an energetic supporter of equal opportunity in higher education, died on October 29. While Chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley, from 1990-'97, Tien served as President of the Board of International House. Having had the experience of being an international student, Tien had a special appreciation for International House.

When Tien left Taiwan, Province of China to study in Kentucky, he felt "terribly isolated and scared," he recalled. "There was racial segregation everywhere and signs for 'colored' and 'whites.' If only we'd have had an I-House there."

Tien was the first Asian American to head a major research university in the U.S. He was one of the most popular and respected leaders in American higher education and an engineering scholar of international renown. While chancellor, Tien was an unofficial diplomat in Asia, meeting with Chinese President Jiang Zemin and Taiwan, Province of China President Lee Teng-hui. He helped found the Committee of 100, a group that promotes understanding between the U.S. and China.

Memorial gifts to honor the former chancellor may be made to the Chang-Lin Tien Center for East Asian Studies. Checks, payable to the UC Berkeley Foundation, may be sent to University Relations, 2440 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, CA 94720-4200.


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