UWest Celebrates Our 30th Anniversary on April 21, 2022

UWest will hold our 30th anniversary celebration on Thursday, April 21, 2022 starting at 4:00 PM. The university is honored to welcome our donors, supporters, and local dignitaries. We have a lively program planned with musical performances, a retrospective video, certificate presentations, and a library and garden dedication ceremony. We invite all students, alumni, faculty, and staff to join us in this monumental celebration. To all of our guests who are coming, we look forward to seeing you!

President’s Message


I am honored and proud to celebrate our 30th anniversary with you.

Thanks to the ongoing dedication of our faculty and staff, University of the West continues to make an impact on our economy and society.  Over the last three decades, we have awarded degrees and certificates to more than 3500 students – yet the contribution of higher education extends far beyond an individual degree.  Private, nonprofit, liberal arts universities such as UWest play significant roles in the everyday lives of those living and working in our local and international communities. Our graduates are currently employed in public, private and military sectors across the nation. By ensuring that our students have the access to what they need to graduate and become successful in meaningful careers, UWest helps lay the foundation for our graduates to move up to the economic ladder and contribute to global society.

In line with our Humanistic Buddhist values of Compassion, Character, and Community, University of the West provides our students with a whole-person education where students, faculty, staff, and community members come together and participate in an ongoing dialogue to advance knowledge and address societal and cultural issues. The UWest leadership team, along with faculty, staff and students, are united in the belief that student success is everyone’s responsibility.

As UWest moves beyond our 30th year, we are making a concerted effort towards strengthening and increasing partnerships and collaborations with community leaders from various sectors, including education, government, and business, as well as public and private organizations.  Your donations and support have allowed UWest to provide such opportunities, advancing equity and social justice for everyone and ensuring that students with educational and socioeconomic challenges have access to higher education.

We deeply appreciate the time you have taken to celebrate these achievements, which are a result of our collective efforts to equip our students with the knowledge, skills, and abilities that support success in our shared global community of the 21st century.


Minh-Hoa Ta

30th Anniversary Celebration Program Cover

Download the program book


Event Program

Emcee: Vanessa Karam, Chief Student Services Officer


4:00 PM Guests Arrive
Screening of UWest Retrospective Video
4:20 PM

Program Commences – Musical Performance
A Town With an Ocean View by Joe Hisaishi

Dr. Kanae Omura: keyboard
Dr. Keith Brown: bass

President’s Welcome
Dr. Minh-Hoa Ta

Welcome & Blessing
Venerable Hui Dong, Abbot of Fo Guang Shan Hsi Lai Temple

Musical Performance
“Guanyin Bodhisattva is Like the Full Moon”
Venerable Zexu: vocals

Dignitary Presentations

Musical Performance
“Heroes” by David Bowie & Brian Eno

Teng-Hung Daniel Liu: flute
Eddie Escalante: percussion
Chung-Wei Alan Hsieh: keyboard & vocals
Dr. Kanae Omura: shamisen
Mehmet Oğuzhan Sayici: saz & vocals
Dr. Keith Brown: bass

Donor Recognition
Student Speaker: Xin Hui Soon (2+2 Program)
Alumni Speaker: Dr. Igor Kokhan (IBEF)

Dr. Minh-Hoa Ta

Guqin Performance

“Solitary Orchid,” from the motion picture Confucius (2010)
Daniel S. Tam: guqin

Library & Garden Dedication
Dr. Jane Iwamura & Dr. Lewis R. Lancaster

Closing Remarks
“The Next Thirty Years”
Dr. Minh-Hoa Ta

Founder’s Courtyard
7:00 PM Event Concludes
Lois M. Lancaster: A Retrospective

Lois M. LancasterLois M. Lancaster (1932 – 2019) was a California artist who grew up in Chatsworth, California. She graduated from Stanford University with a degree in Anthropology, then went on to do graduate work in ceramics and design. She finished her MA in Design and Fiber Art with Ed Rossbach at UC Berkeley, and also trained in bookbinding at UCLA.

Ms. Lancaster’s work has been exhibited at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the American Craft Center, New York, and other museums across the U.S., and internationally at the Museums of Modern Art in Tokyo and Kyoto, the British Library, the British Craft Center, London, and in Europe, Australia, and South Korea. The majority of her art work is artist books, using printmaking, painting, and various fiber arts as mixed media. Her artist books have been collected by the British Library, London, and the Savaria Museum, Szombathely, Hungary. Her work has been featured in publications such as the American Craft Council, New West, Art Week, Mainichi News, and Ed Rossbach’s The New Basketry (Van Nostrand Reinhold Co. NY, 1976).

Her art was influenced by years of travel and study in many parts of Asia, most particularly by the art and culture of South Korea. Chan Buddhism, Daoism, and Shamanism all play a part in her imagery and ideas. There is an intimacy and accessibility of these unbroken spiritual traditions of South Korea that is unmatched elsewhere. The interchange of East meets West, and West meets East, has been enriching humankind for centuries with mutual stimulation of thinking and creativity. Lois enjoyed being part of all this, and part of the challenge of balancing tradition with innovation.

Lois Lancaster was a beloved and respected member of UWest’s extended family. The university is honored to host this retrospective, the first time that a broad range of her work spanning six decades has been displayed together in the same venue. The exhibit has been made possible through the efforts of Lois Lancaster’s son, Linus Lancaster.

Lois M. Lancaster Retrospective

Community Partners

Asian Youth Center

The Asian Youth Center (AYC) is a community-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that exists to empower low-income, immigrant, and at-risk youth and families, of all communities, to overcome barriers to success through culturally and linguistically competent education, employment, and social services. AYC was founded in 1989 to address the unmet social service and health needs of Asian immigrant youth and families in the San Gabriel Valley. Today, AYC provides services in Chinese, Vietnamese, Spanish and English. AYC’s programs include Education & Community Engagement, which includes K-8th after school programming, Youth Development for high school immigrant students regardless of documentation status, COVID-19 Education and Outreach, and Stop Hate Projects, as well as Employment services, Youth and Family Services, and an Emergency Food Program. We help all youth succeed in school, at work, and in life!

Asian Youth Center
100 West Clary Avenue
San Gabriel, CA 91776
(626) 537-0954

Rosemead Chamber of Commerce

The Rosemead Chamber of Commerce celebrates our 95th anniversary this year and continues to work daily to support a strong local economy. Our mission is to represent our members’ businesses by providing programs and opportunities that support their prosperity. We believe in a productive workforce supported by a business-friendly environment at all levels of government. Indeed, the Rosemead Chamber works hand-in-hand with the City of Rosemead and serves as the voice of the business community to foster long-term growth and to enhance quality of life in Rosemead. We also act as the public relations arms of the city and the “front door” through which new visitors to Rosemead are welcomed from around the world. Visit us in person or on the web to learn more about the services we provide, upcoming events, and other news and engagements.

Rosemead Chamber of Commerce
3953 Muscatel Avenue
Rosemead, CA 91770
(626) 288-0811

San Gabriel Chamber of Commerce

As the leading voice of business in the San Gabriel Valley region and beyond, the San Gabriel Chamber of Commerce works to create and sustain a favorable business environment in which all businesses can grow, flourish, and thrive.

The San Gabriel Chamber of Commerce understands the importance of unified partnerships relating to business issues that affect our diverse membership and community at large. We are dedicated to identifying issues that matter to our members in order to effectively advocate for the interests of our businesses at the local, state, and federal levels.

Advocating for a strong local economy is one of our highest priorities. We strive to stay informed on the latest issues, while seeking common-sense solutions to many complex issues. Our Chamber members are the lifeblood and most valuable resource in the campaign to improve the economic vitality of San Gabriel, the SGV, and beyond. It is through participation and engagement that the Chamber gathers its strength in order to influence public policy, insure our collective success, and enhance the quality of life for our communities.

San Gabriel Chamber of Commerce
620 W. Santa Anita Street
San Gabriel, CA 91776
(626) 576-2525



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