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Nov 20 Banquet – Thanks for Joining Us, and Congratulations to Jack Hasegawa!

Thanks to all students and alumni who joined us on campus for our Alumni Reception and Banquet on November 20, 2009, and congratulations to Jack Hasegawa, recipient of AAAYA’s first annual “Friend of the Community” Award.

It was a busy day for AAAYA: the national board had its second annual meeting to discuss plans for fundraising, board structure, and building new local chapters (if you’re interested in serving on the board, contact us and let us know!). After the meeting, students and alumni met at the Asian American Cultural Center for a reception, followed by a banquet at Seoul Garden restaurant.

The evening’s highlight was the presentation of our first annual “Friend of the Community” award to Jack Hasegawa. Jack, a former general secretary of Dwight Hall, was the first director of Asian American affairs at Yale from 1981-1985.

Video and photos from the evening are below. Also, after the jump, you can read AAAYA President Kunduck Moon’s introduction for Jack Hasegawa.



AAAYA President Kunduck Moon’s Introduction of Jack Hasegawa

“Current students, alumni and friends of the community.

This is the third time we are gathered for a banquet in New Haven.  The first time we gathered, we had takeout food at Rosenthal Hall on the other side of the campus.  At that time, AAAYA had not yet been organized on the national level.  The second time, last year, we gathered at a Thai restaurant, using only the back room.  Now, we have taken over the whole restaurant.  Are we, then, very far from having our banquet at the University Commons?  I hope it is not too far!

Jack, when you helped and guided a small number of undergraduates back in the 1980s, did you imagine that one day there would be more than 9,000 Asian and Asian American Yale alumni?  I certainly did not when I arrived in New Haven as a freshman back in September 1972, 37 years ago for those of you who majored in English.  There were perhaps 25 Asian Americans in my class: Tonny, Trish and Ken are here tonight from my class.  The small group of students needed someone like you, Jack, to guide us, advice us and lead us. Now there are a couple of hundred Asian American students in each Yale College class, organized in several dozen active groups.  Those students that you guided more than twenty five years ago are now the alumni who have organized themselves into AAAYA.

We are delighted that one of the first things we are doing is to thank you for what you have done for us.  Let me read the citation:

The Asian American Cultural Center at Yale University & the Association of Asian American Yale Alumni gratefully recognize Jack Hasegawa for his outstanding service and contributions to the Asian American student community at Yale University and honor him with The First Annual Friend of the Community Award.  New Haven, Connecticut, November 20, 2009.

Thank you, Jack.”

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