Remembering I.M. Pei on the One Year Anniversary of His Passing

Chien Chung (Didi) Pei
Alice Young


May 16, 2020 marked the one-year anniversary of the passing of I.M. Pei, a legendary architect and the person who, 31 years ago, galvanized the effort to create the Committee of 100. This 20-minute webcast commemorated his legacy through the eyes of his family and others who became part of his effort to create an organization dedicated to the Committee’s dual missions.

The Master of Ceremonies for the webcast was Alice Young, Committee of 100 member. The program included a three minute video that chronicles the formation of the Committee of 100 and his role, followed by reflections by Chien Chung (Didi) Pei, son of I.M. Pei and a fellow Committee of 100 member. He commented on I.M.’s legacy from the perspective of his family and his fellow Committee of 100 members. Attendees were able to contribute their reflections on I.M. in writing during the event.

The History
As stated on the Committee of 100 website: “The concept of founding the Committee came from the renowned architect, the late I.M. Pei and Dr. Henry Kissinger, 56th U.S. Secretary of State, in 1988. Kissinger discussed with Pei the notion of organizing an influential group of Chinese Americans to address issues of international concern between the United States and China. Later in June of 1989, I.M. Pei became inundated with calls from reporters seeking his reaction as an influential Chinese American to the Tiananmen events. Pei felt that no single individual could adequately represent the Chinese American perspective. With a sense of urgency to build bridges between China and the United States, Pei teamed with master cellist Yo-Yo Ma, Henry S. Tang, Oscar Tang, Shirley Yang and Chien-Shiung Wu to recruit distinguished Chinese Americans from the arts, business, academia, public service, and the sciences to serve on the Committee of 100.”

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