Taiwanese president praises new fellowship fund at University of Michigan

May 25, 2012
William Foreman

Jiu-Hwa Lo Upshur (left) and Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeouJiu-Hwa Lo Upshur (left) and Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeouTAIPEI, Taiwan—Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou praised alumna Jiu-Hwa Lo Upshur for contributing $1 million to create a new fund that will support annual fellowships for doctoral students in any program in the University of Michigan’s Rackham Graduate School.

The new Chia-Lun Lo Fellowship Fund was named after Upshur’s late father, a prolific writer, poet, diplomat and education leader in Taiwan.

While meeting with Upshur in Taiwan’s Presidential Office on Thursday, Ma said that he has long been an admirer of Chia-Lun Lo and that his writing has had a profound effect on him and many generations of readers.

“Dr. Lo is one of the most important advocates for education,” said the president, recently elected to a second four-year term.

“I believe you have passed on the great virtues and talents of your father,” Ma said to Upshur during the meeting, which lasted nearly an hour in the Taiwanese capital, Taipei.

Upshur said that although Taiwan is a prosperous place, many students still require financial assistance for their studies. She said she is grateful for two scholarships that she received at U-M before receiving a Ph.D. from the university. She is a professor emerita of Chinese history at Eastern Michigan University.

Both Upshur and her mother, Wei-Djen Djang Lo, were recipients of the Barbour Scholarship, a prestigious fellowship established by former U-M Regent Levi Barbour to support women students from Asia. Upshur’s mother earned an M.A. in political science at U-M and pursued a lengthy career in academia and government.

The meeting with Ma also included Dean Janet Weiss of the Rackham Graduate School, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.

Weiss noted that U-M has a long history of welcoming Taiwanese students and nearly 300 were enrolled during the most recent academic year. “It has been very enriching to the university to have their talent,” she added.

Upshur’s gift of $1 million to create the fellowship fund was matched by U-M’s President’s Challenge for the Student Global Experience, which contributed $250,000.

Fellowship recipients should have received a degree from a university in Taiwan. If there are no qualified candidates from Taiwan, Rackham doctoral students who have received a degree from a university on mainland China will be eligible.