Asian Languages and Cultures is the premier center for education about Asia in southern California and is one of the leading departments in the nation. ALC courses enroll thousands of students each year — far more than any other department of Humanities at UCLA other than English. Despite the fact that we teach so many students about all aspects of Asia (including many major languages regarded as being among the world’s most difficult to learn), the university provides us with relatively meager resources. For example, ALC has only about 22 professorial positions while our fellow departments in the Humanities devoted to European languages and cultures (Classics, French, Germanic, Italian, Scandinavian, Spanish and Portuguese) can boast about 70.
Without additional sources of support we cannot sustain our educational mission. We work closely with the Asia Institute and its numerous research centers (Buddhist Studies; Chinese Studies; India and South Asia; Korean Studies; Southeast Asian Studies; and the Terasaki Center for Japanese Studies) to fund courses and research projects. Each year ALC faculty and graduate students are awarded numerous research fellowships from national and international funding agencies (such as the Fulbright Program, International Shinto Foundation, Japan Foundation, Mellon Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, Numata Foundation, and so forth). All of the entities above help us, and we are grateful for their support. But we are most grateful for you — our friends and our alumni. You are the ones who play the most important role in supporting Asian Languages and Cultures. Whether you wish to support ALC overall or to direct your gift to just one of our projects or specializations, your gifts make a significant and immediate impact on the department’s success by providing us with vital resources and allowing us to address our most pressing needs. Your contributions help ensure that our department and our students can give the gift of knowledge to the future.