Author: Angela

FASA Freshmen Orientation Meet and Greet

On August 27th, FASA organized a meet and greet gathering for the FASA’17!

We had a great time getting to know all of the freshmen and introducing ourselves. It was a lovely start of the semester!

Let’s welcome our new members:

Mikaela Reyes from THE PHILIPPINES
Roxie Chuang from TAIWAN
Asad Hassanali from SINGAPORE
Han Ming How “Hans” from MALAYSIA
Austin Pham from VIETNAM
Jason Wangsadinata from INDONESIA
Cindy Horng from THAILAND
Alison Lam from HONG KONG
Maria Ma from CHINA
Shingo Umehara from JAPAN
and Hyerin Lee from KOREA

Here are some photos of the new (and old) faces:IMG_9629 Co-chair Ga Eun Yoo’14 gave a short speech about FASA.






Photo creds: Eki Ramadhan’16

Special thanks to German Haus for providing the space for us!

FASA Connection Summer 2013

The Freeman Connection 2013p.1

The Freeman Connection 2013p.2

The Freeman Connection 2013p.3

The Freeman Connection 2013p.4

The Freeman Connection 2013p.5


Changes to the Freeman Asian Scholars Program [For urgent information and action]

To:                   All Current and Alumni Freeman Scholars, and
                        Supporters of the Freeman Scholarship Program
From:              Freeman Asian Scholars Association Sustainability Taskforce
July 7, 2013
Dear Friend,
On June 27, the Freeman Asian Scholars Association (FASA) Sustainability Taskforce* received information from a non-Wesleyan source that the Freeman Foundation will end its financial support for the Freeman Asian Scholars Program after the Class of 2017. The following are the changes to the Program according to our source:
  • The Program will continue in the name of the Freeman family and foundation, but funds for the Class of 2018 onwards will come from Wesleyan;
  • The terms of the scholarship remain unchanged, at full sponsorship of tuition for one scholar from each of the 11 countries/areas, with the exception that the scholar selection process might be amended slightly.
When the Taskforce received this news, we promptly wrote to Terri Overton (Associate Dean of Admission-in-charge of Freeman Scholar recruitment and selection), Carol Scully (Director of Corporate, Foundation and Government Grants at University Relations), and John and Gina Driscoll, to ascertain the news and to voice our concerns. The following was Dean Overton’s response:
There is no need for alarm. The Freeman Foundation and Wesleyan will continue our longstanding partnership in supporting the Freeman Asian Scholars Program. The foundation will continue funding the program for the next several years and Wesleyan is seeking to raise endowment support so that we will always have Freeman Scholars on campus.  We plan to use the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the program to raise funds from Freeman Scholar alumni and others toward this goal. We hope that you will be able to be part of this effort.
The same set of operating principles will be in place as I get going on recruiting the Freeman Scholars Class of 2018—i.e. one from each of the eleven countries, full tuition scholarship plus financial aid if needed to cover additional costs, etc.
The Taskforce is heartened that at least for the immediate future, Wesleyan is committed to keeping this distinctive and special program.
However, given the financial imperatives that have forced Wesleyan to adopt austerity measures in recent years, we remain concerned about the long-term survival of the Freeman Scholars’ Program now that its anchor donor, the Freeman Foundation, is scaling down on its financial support.
With the above changes to the Program—as well as in anticipation of our upcoming 20th Anniversary—the FASA Taskforce is therefore writing to solicit your views and support for the Program’s long-term sustainability.
As a result of the recent developments, as well as the information-gathering work that the Taskforce has undertaken over the past year, here are some recommendations for what you can do to help ensure that Freeman Scholars will always be on the Wesleyan campus:
(1) Write to Mr. Graeme Freeman ‘77 to express your appreciation of and/or gratitude for their support of the Program thus far, and your sadness that the Foundation is scaling down its support for the Program. Mr. Graeme Freeman may be contacted via e-mail through Gina Driscoll at and/or John Driscoll at
(2)  Write to the President Michael Roth to convey your support for the Program, as well as your belief that the Program is important and valuable to Wesleyan. President Roth may be reached at:
Office of the President
Wesleyan University
229 High Street
Middletown, CT 06459
We recommend that you convey your message by email, so that the following members of Roth’s leadership team may be copied into your correspondence:
Barbara-Jan Wilson,
Vice President for University Relations / bjwilson-at-wesleyan-dot-edu
Professor Ruth Striegel,
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs / rweissman-at-wesleyan-dot-edu
Nancy H. Meislahn,
Dean of Admission and Financial Aid / nmeislahn-at-wesleyan-dot-edu
(We would greatly appreciate it if you could copy the Taskforce in your email communications with the Foundation and the University at This will help us keep track of your support.)
(3)  We also hope that you can take some time to provide information and feedback to the FASA Taskforce to guide our work in advocating for the long-term survival of the Freeman Scholars Program. Please email Chun Kit Ng ’15 ( your responses to the following prompts:
  • What is distinctive and special about the Freeman Scholars Program? How does it add value to Wesleyan as an institution? Why is it worth preserving the Program, and having Freeman Scholars as part of our community?
  • Any personal anecdotes that illustrate the impact of the Freeman Scholars Program, as well as the meaningful legacy of the Freeman family.
  • (For alumni) What, specifically, do you think are the objectives of the Freeman Scholars Program? How, specifically, have you exemplified and lived up to the vision of Mr. Mansfield and Mr. Houghton Freeman? How has receiving the Scholarship helped you fulfill and extend this vision? What qualities do you see in Freeman Scholars?
We realize that there are overlaps between our three requests, and that these require a significant effort from you. Please feel free to repeat your points in your letters to the Foundation and to President Roth, or simply economize on your responses to us—even a few sentences or phrases will be helpful! We ask that you do so at your earliest convenience.
Besides taking direction from your responses to determine our subsequent course of action, the Taskforce has begun working with the FASA Executive Committee on the following initiatives, among others:
(1)  Working with University Relations to explore the possibility of earmarking donations specifically for the Freeman Asian Scholars Program;
(2)  Soliciting recollections, messages and information from Freeman Scholar alumni and supporters in preparation for a 20th Anniversary commemorative publication; and
(3)  Engaging the Wesleyan administration and Board of Trustees to advocate for the long-term sustenance of the Freeman Scholars Program after compiling responses we receive from this round of information gathering.
We will reach out to you again in the near future to solicit specific information in regard to the above three initiatives.  Meanwhile, we ask that you forward this message widely to all who are concerned about the Freeman Scholars’ Program. We also welcome any input you may have that will help us as we step up our efforts to advocate for the Freeman Scholars Program at Wesleyan. If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions, please feel free to contact the Taskforce through Ga Eun Yoo ’14 at gyoo01-at-wesleyan-dot-edu.
Thank you.
Best regards,
Gavin Swee ’13 and Alice Hadler**
on behalf of the FASA Sustainability Taskforce
*About the FASA Sustainability Taskforce
The FASA Taskforce was formed when a group of concerned Freeman Scholars began to have doubts about the Scholarship Program’s long-term survival. Beginning Fall 2012, the Taskforce has been working with the FASA Executive Committee on research and strategic initiatives aimed at the following:
(a)    Sustained and meaningful communication with alumni and allies of the Freeman Scholarship Program;
(b)    Positive engagement of the Freeman family and foundation that includes active student participation and direction;
(c)    Rejuvenation and revitalizing of the objectives of the Freeman Scholarship, as well as proactive FASA community-building for current scholars at Wesleyan; and
(d)    Active dialogue with the Wesleyan administration and faculty to promote the Freeman Asian Scholars Program and emphasize its value.
The current Taskforce consists of current and former FASA ExCo Chairs and members: Abraham Ngu ’13, Chi Le ’13, Nathan Wang ’13, Chen-chi Chien ’13, Bingxin Wu ’13, Gavin Swee ’13, Julian Theseira ’14, Ga Eun Yoo ’14, Kamonwan Arttachariya ’14, Chun Kit Ng ’15, Kaito Abe ’15, and Anh Tuan Nguyen Viet ’16.
The Taskforce is honored to be advised by Professor Alice Hadler, faculty advisor and all-round cheerleader for Freeman Scholars since the Program’s inception. We also gratefully acknowledge the contributions and input of Professor Vera Schwarcz, the Mansfield Freeman Professor of East Asian Studies.
**The Taskforce and our initiatives are entirely student initiated. Professor Hadler serves as our advisor, but did NOT write this letter or initiate our activity.

Tea Time with Professor Schwarcz

On April 16, 2013, Mansfield Freeman Professor of East Asian Studies invited the Freeman Asian scholars on campus to tea with her in the Freeman East Asian Studies Center to discuss the current state of the Freeman Asian Scholar program and its future. Turnout was good, as  26 of Freeman scholars, from varying class years and different countries attended. The conversation was very fruitful, and Professor Schwarcz shared many valuable insights about the program and ideas for future projects. The topics discussed were as follows:

I)  The Contributions of Freeman Scholars

Professor Schwarcz complimented Freeman Scholars on their intelligence and creativity and believe they made valuable contributions to her classes.

II) History of the Freeman Asian Scholar Program

Professor Schwarcz shared how Mansfield Freeman, who lived during a time of weakened US-China relations saw a need to reconnect the USA with China and Asia in order for the West to learn about Asia. Hence, he provided support to Wesleyan’s East Asian Studies program.

Meanwhile Houghton “Buck” Freeman, Mr. Mansfield’s son who was born and grew up in Asia, had a vision of how much Asian countries would benefit from their youth receiving a liberal arts education as rigorous as the one he received at Wesleyan. He thus set up the Freeman Foundation and started the Freeman Asian Scholarship program to provide scholarships to outstanding students from 11 different East and Southeast Asian countries.

III) Aims of the Freeman Asian Scholar Program

a)    Cultivating young Asian leaders capable of critical thinking and knowledgeable about America.

b)   Providing these young Asian leaders with the opportunity to broaden their personal and intellectual horizons through a liberal arts education  at Wesleyan and equipping them with the skills and knowledge to effectively serve their homelands in the future.

c)    To enhance the cultural and intellectual diversity of the Wesleyan student body.

IV) Current Challenges

Professor Schwarcz shared about some of the current challenges the program is facing, such as the financial sustainability  of the program in the wake of the 2008 economic crisis.

V) Cultivating Allies

Professor Schwarcz stressed the need to cultivate allies of the Freeman Asian Scholarship program, both on campus and off, who could contribute in various ways to the future sustainability of the program.

VI) Freeman Alumni Engagement

Professor Schwarcz emphasized the importance of cultivating relations with Freeman Asian scholar alumni. Some of the suggestions on how to do so were:

a)    WeSeminars presented by people connected to the Freeman program

b)   Alumni newsletter

VII) 20th Anniversary of the Freeman Asian scholar program

The Freeman program will be turning 20 in Fall 2015! Professor Schwarcz suggested producing a souvenir book to commemorate the occasion. The book should be well designed and can incorporate submissions from alumni. Preparations for the 20th anniversary should commence now. The 20th anniversary can be a cause around which to rally Freeman alumni support and reengage them actively.

DSC03275 DSC03254  DSC03282_smaller

Minute taken by Hannah Ang ’16, edited by Julian Theseira ’14

FASA’s Karaoke Event!

March 30th, 2013

This semester, FASA Exco is trying to be creative with events. On 3/30, we organized the very first FASA Karaoke night! More than 25 members, even several senior thesis writers, attended this 3 hours long singing event. Thank you AAA for providing the space!

Thanks to Victor Goh’15, our karaoke set up expert, we were able to have a great time together!  We had:

  1. Three wireless microphones 
  2. A remote control system to select numerous songs
  3. Songs of ANY language, ANY period!
  4. Screen displaying upcoming songs
  5. Speakers with bass for background music

Here are some highlights of the event:


Yummy snacks prepared by Exco


Our lovely sophomore and freshmen


Francis ’13 (Taiwan) and Hannah ’16 (Philippines)


Gavin ’13 (Singapore) came for his favorite singer Anita Mui


Abraham ’13(Malaysia) and Victor ’16 (Singapore) sang along while managing the karaoke station (not an easy task)


Chun Kit ’15 (Malaysia), Tony ’16 (Taiwan), Tuan ’16 (Vietnam) and Kotaro ’16 (Japan) had a great time singing together


All of our Filipino Freemans (Reese’ 13, Marianna ’15, Leo ’14 and Hannah ’16) came… Filipinos truly LOVE karaoke


Taiwanese (Leslie ’15 and Tony ’16) also had a great time singing 五月天!


Current Co-Chair (Ga Eun ’14) and our beloved previous Co-Chair (Lin ’14) decided to sing Skyfall together


The last song…


We had a great time with our FASA friends and it was fun singing in so many languages (Mandarin, Japanese, Malay etc).  Thank you for coming! We hope to organize it again next year!

Stay tuned for our next special event (it’s going to be unexpected!)