University of California, Riverside

UCR Newsroom

Dean of Chinese American Studies at UCR

UC Riverside To Host Public Lecture on Chinese Americans

Scholar and Engineer Him Mark Lai Will Lecture on “The Chinese Americans: A Population of Complex Diversity”

(February 26, 2004)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( -- Chinese-American Studies pioneer Him Mark Lai will give a free public lecture at UC Riverside at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 2 in Humanities 1500. The lecture is called “The Chinese Americans: A Population of Complex Diversity.”

A mechanical engineer long retired from Bechtel, Lai has devoted most of his life to collecting, researching and writing about Chinese American history and communities. He is also deeply involved in the Chinese American community and in helping young people find their roots in their ancestral homeland. He was born and raised in San Francisco. Now 78 years old, his personal collection of correspondence, family genealogy, conference papers, research notes, and newspaper clippings on Chinese American and Chinese Overseas subjects is now housed at UC Berkeley. Professor Lai also donated over 5,000 items to UC Riverside Libraries.

He has taught Asian-American studies classes at San Francisco State University, and at UC Berkeley. He served for many years on the Board of Directors of the Chinese Culture Foundation of San Francisco and is currently co-coordinator of the Foundation’s “In Search of Roots” program. He also served for many years on the editorial board of the journal of the Chinese Historical Society of America.

He was a member of the Angel Island Immigration Station Historical Advisory Committee and has been an associate editor at East/West. He has consulted for numerous media projects on Chinese-Americans.

Asian American students make up more than 42 percent of UC Riverside’s undergraduate student population, and Chinese Americans make up the largest percentage of 13.5 percent.

“We are honoring Him Mark Lai, a man of scientific and scholarly talents, for his wonderful generosity to the campus,” said Robert Nava, UC Riverside Interim Vice Chancellor for Advancement. “This is also an important opportunity for Americans of Chinese descent, especially our many Chinese-American students, to benefit from his lifetime of research and writing.”

Co-sponsors of the event are the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Advancement; UCR Libraries; Department of Ethnic Studies; and the following student organizations at UC Riverside: Chinese American Alliance, Riverside, Hong Kong Students Association, International Chinese Association, Pi Delta Psi Fraternity, Inc.: Excellence through Brotherhood.

Parking on campus is $5 per vehicle for the day or may be purchased for shorter periods at $1 per hour. Parking permits are available at the information kiosks near the University Avenue and Canyon Crest Drive, and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard entrances.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

A broadcast studio with fiber cable to the AT&T Hollywood hub is available for live or taped interviews. UCR also has ISDN for radio interviews. To learn more, call (951) UCR-NEWS.

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

Media Relations
900 University Avenue
1156 Hinderaker Hall
Riverside, CA 92521

Tel: (951) 827-6397 (951) UCR-NEWS
Fax: (951) 827-5008

Related Links