March 25, 2016
Some Highlights of ACAA's Accomplishments!
- ACAA proactively embraced new technologies early on to help reconnect alumni.
- Its first website was created in 1997 and it still has a large, active online presence today.
- In 1997, it set up an international video conference moderated by Professor Andrew Nathan between alumni in Hong Kong and New York to commemorate the handover of the Crown Colony of Hong Kong to China.
- In 1997, ACAA lead the formation of the Columbia Club in Singapore. In 2001, it hosted a one-day seminar for alumni, “Columbia in Singapore: Educating Singapore’s Talented Youth.”
- Its highly acclaimed Team Columbia Mentoring Program was emulated by many other start-up mentoring programs, including ones in the Center for Career Education (CCE) and the Columbia Alumni of Color Mentoring Program. As part of its mentoring efforts, ACAA co-hosted several “Dress for Success” professional skill building workshops with the Asian American Alliance, an umbrella organization of Asian student groups on campus.
- In 1997, ACAA members attended the opening of the play, Shanghai Lil, produced by the Pan Asian Repertory Theatre, which was directed by Tisa Chang '63BC, who received the Barnard Medal of Distinction in 1991 and is a pioneer in the development of the Asian American stage.
- In 2003, Dana Y. Wu ’91CC, '92SIPA, president of ACAA from 1997 to 1998, received the Asian Heritage Award for her outstanding services to the Asian community and Columbia at the annual Asian Alumni Reception.
- In 2004, Professor Gary Okihiro from the Columbia Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity worked with his students to produce the documentary, History of Asians at Columbia, featuring prominent professors and alumni, as well as then-current ACAA members.
- ACAA honored Mr. Z.Y. Fu at the Columbia Engineering Alumni Association Awards Dinner at Low Memorial Library Rotunda in 1999.
- In 2004, ACAA organized five symposia featuring distinguished Columbia faculty based on the theme, Asian Americans: Opening Columbia to the World. This was part of “ACAA Celebrates Columbia 250” in commemorating the university’s 250th anniversary.
- Its black-tie galas held in Low Library from 2002 to 2006 honored distinguished alumni from Columbia College, SEAS, the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) and Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, and were highly successful in raising monies for the ACAA Scholarship Fund. The fund provided grants of $20,000 each for 19 ACAA Scholars.
- Its major social events have become annual activities on the Columbia calendar:
- The Welcome Back Reception and Asian Graduation Reception are always well attended by students and alumni. Over the years, prominent alumni speakers included: Alumni Medalist and Alexander Hamilton Award and John Jay Award-winner Conrad Lung ’72CC, Alumni Medalist and former University Trustee Savio Tung ’73SEAS, an Outstanding Community Service Award-winner, Alumni Medalist Mozelle Thompson ’76CC, ’81LAW, and Sree Sreenivasan ’93JRN, chief digital officer, Metropolitan Museum of Art.
- The ACAA Lunar New Year Banquet has been a huge celebratory event for the last 14 years in New York, London, and other major Asian cities.
- The annual ACAA Picnic now includes participants from all the Ivy schools.
- ACAA’s exciting Dragon Boat Team competes annually and has placed first among its peers during the past two years.
- The first annual Diwali Festival Dinner this year drew many alumni and was a lot of fun.