New York, NY (January 26, 2023) — Committee of 100, a non-profit organization of prominent Chinese Americans, today released the following statement mourning the passing of former member Dr. Betty Lee Sung. Dr. Sung died on January 19 at her home in Silver Spring, Maryland at the age of 98.
Dr. Sung started her career working as a script writer for Voice of America. While there, Dr. Sung was shocked at how American culture held inaccurate assumptions and information about Chinese culture. This inspired Dr. Sung to write her first book, Mountain of Gold: The Story of the Chinese in America. Dr. Sung would go on to write nine books during her career.
Based off the success of Mountain of Gold, Dr. Sung was hired by the City College of New York and founded the very first Asian American studies program on the East Coast of the United States. While there, Dr. Sung rose to the position of chairwoman of the department of Asian studies, where she remained until she retired in 1992.
Dr. Sung graduated with a B.A. in Economics from the University of Illinois in 1948. In 1968, she earned an MLS from Queens College of the City University of New York and in 1982, she earned a PhD from the Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York. Dr. Sung was a proud former member of the Committee of 100, serving on multiple committees and programs to help drive the success and influence of the organization.
“As a college student, I learned of Dr. Betty Lee Sung’s inspiring and trailblazing role in the creation of Asian American studies programs on college campuses across the U.S.,” said Gary Locke, Committee of 100 Chair, Former U.S. Ambassador to China, Former Governor of Washington, and currently the President of Bellevue College. “The best way to honor her life and memory is by continuing to promote the full understanding of the history—the trials, tribulations, and achievements—of Asian Americans in our nation.”
“On behalf of the Committee of 100, I would like to extend our deepest condolence and sympathies to the family and friends of Dr. Betty Lee Sung,” said Zhengyu Huang, President of Committee of 100. “Betty was a wonderful contributor to the Committee of 100, donating her time, energy and expertise to advancing our dual missions. We are all grateful for knowing Betty and honored to have had her be a part of the Committee of 100 family.”
Dr. Sung is survived by four children and six granddaughters.
About Committee of 100
Committee of 100 is a non-profit U.S. leadership organization of prominent Chinese Americans in business, government, academia, healthcare, and the arts focused on public policy engagement, civic engagement, and philanthropy. For more than 30 years, Committee of 100 has served as a preeminent organization committed to the dual missions of promoting the full participation of Chinese Americans in all aspects of American life and constructive relations between the United States and Greater China. Visit https://www.committee100.org/ or follow Committee of 100 on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook for more information.
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Committee of 100