September 2010 | By Jane Leung Larson
In this column, we salute other extraordinary Chinese Americans—
Chinese Americans were recently appointed to lead two of top twenty public universities in the country, as ranked by U.S. News and World Report. Wallace D. Loh will become the University of Maryland’s first President of Asian American descent on November 1, and Phyllis Wise is now Interim President of the University of Washington. Coincidentally, Loh, who is currently provost at the University of Iowa, once served as dean of the University of Washington Law School, and Wise was a professor of physiology at the University of Maryland.
Daniel de Vise in his coverage of Loh’s appointment in the August 16 Washington Post described his early years:
Loh, 65, is an accomplished academician with an unusual life story. He was born in Shanghai and emigrated at a young age to Lima, Peru, following his diplomat father. After high school, he journeyed alone to the United States. He earned a bachelor's degree at Grinnell College in Iowa, a master's from Cornell, a doctorate in psychology from the
University of Michiganand a law degree from Yale.
Wise, both the first woman and first Asian American to serve as UW President, was provost and executive vice president at the University as well as professor of physiology and biophysics, biology, obstetrics and gynecology. Her parents came to the U.S. as students, and she was raised in New York and New Jersey.