Continuing the Legacy

The Visiting Asian Scholars Program (VASP) was founded during the 2012-13 academic year to continue the legacy of the Freeman Fellows Program, which brought scholars from partner institutions in China to the University of Illinois campus to promote exposure to American society, engagement with  academic communities, and access to resource materials. VASP was created to expand this mission to scholars from academic institutions in East Asia, Southeast Asia, and Central Asia.

We are excited to welcome our first group of scholars to campus this semester. They come from both China and South Korea, and from the following institutions: China Agricultural University, Harbin Institute of Technology, Incheon National University, South China Normal University, Wuhan University, and Zhejiang University. Their academic disciplines include Development Studies, Political Science, and Sociology.

Our scholars will share their research during regular brown-bag lunches throughout the fall and spring semesters. Please join us for these gatherings or feel free to stop by anytime and visit the VASP office. The address is 912 S Fifth Street, next to the International Studies Building. Office hours are M – F from 8:00am – 12:00 noon.

Freeman Foundation and the Freeman Fellows Program
The Freeman Foundation itself was established in 1993 in memory of Mansfield Freeman, a longtime resident of Asia, distinguished scholar of Chinese philosophy, and co-founder of American International Group Inc, A.I.G. The Freeman Foundation’s mission is to facilitate the development of international understanding between the United States and countries in East Asia.

The Freeman Fellows Program at the University of Illinois was founded in 1996 and continued until the 2012-13 academic year. During its 16 years, nearly 200 Chinese scholars from 12 partner institutions have been able to come to the University of Illinois campus. The mission of the Freeman Fellows Program was to provide an opportunity for Chinese scholars to do research on topics of interest to them at a national research university; to provide Chinese scholars with opportunities to learn more about the United States; and to provide an opportunity for Chinese scholars to communicate with Americans with the goal of increasing understanding between Chinese citizens and American citizens.

The University of Illinois, the Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies, and the Freeman Fellows Program are all extremely grateful for the support of the Freeman Foundation for the past 16 years.

To learn more about the Freeman Foundation and the Freeman Fellows Program at the University of Illinois, please visit their website.

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