Lee Teng-hui, former president of Taiwan, is planning to travel to Cornell, where he earned his Ph.D. in agricultural economics in 1968, on a personal visit in early May to see his granddaughter, a Cornell student, and to meet with students and faculty at his alma mater. Lee's visit to Cornell is planned for May 2-4. No public speeches or events are anticipated.
The university will use the occasion of his visit to announce the establishment of the Lee Teng-hui Institute for scientific research in honor of its distinguished alumnus.
Lee visited Cornell in 1995 on a private trip to attend his college reunion. He has previously been honored by the university with the endowment of the Lee Teng-hui Professorship of World Affairs, currently held by Ravi Kanbur, an expert on economic issues facing developing countries. Made possible by a $2.5 million endowment gift to Cornell in 1994, presented anonymously by friends of Lee in Taiwan, the professorship is designed as a joint appointment between the Department of Agricultural, Resource and Managerial Economics in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, where Lee earned his doctorate, and the Department of Economics in the College of Arts and Sciences. The endowment also supports a graduate student fellowship.
Cornell has an active exchange of students and scholars in many fields with educational institutions in Taiwan. Currently, there are 124 students from Taiwan enrolled at Cornell.
The Lee Teng-hui Institute will be located in Duffield Hall, a $62.5 million state-of-the-art nanofabrication research facility to be built on Cornell's Engineering Quadrangle. A consortium of companies in Taiwan has made a substantial financial contribution in honor of Lee toward the construction of the facility and to support instructional and research programs of the college.
Duffield Hall will house multidisciplinary research in the field of nanotechnology, in which Cornell has been a leader. The building is named for Cornell alumnus David A. Duffield, president and founder of PeopleSoft Inc., who made a $20 million gift to the university for the facility. Construction of the facility will begin in late May and is expected to be completed in 2003.