East-West Center Establishes Thai Scholarship Fund
Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn (center, wearing lei) and the scholarship committee pose in front of the rededicated sala. Click image to enlarge.

HONOLULU (Jan. 28, 2009) – The East-West Center and an EWC alumni group have signed the agreement which establishes a new scholarship fund to assist Thai students at the Center. Interest earnings from the Royal Sala Thai Scholarship Fund will help cover travel and living expenses for qualified graduate students from Thailand studying in Hawai‘i on East-West Center grants.

The scholarship fund currently has an initial endowment of more than $188,000, including a donation of $100,000 provided by the Commission on Higher Education of the Royal Thai Government’s Ministry of Education. Additional donations were provided by prominent East-West Center alumni and other individuals in Thailand and Hawai‘i, with the intention of increasing the number of Thai participants at the Center.

The scholarship is named after the Center’s striking golden sala Thai, or traditional Thai pavilion, a gift from the King of Thailand. The endowment was established to commemorate the visit of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn to the Center last March, during which she rededicated the pavilion after it was rebuilt. The original sala was dedicated by His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit in 1967.

For more information on the scholarship fund, please visit:

“It is significant that this scholarship has been established during a year in which the United States and Thailand celebrated the 175th anniversary of their formal relationship, the oldest one between the U.S. and any nation in Asia,” said East-West Center President Charles E. Morrison.  “In addition, the establishment of this endowment highlights the long and fruitful relationship that the East-West Center has enjoyed with students, scholars and leaders from Thailand. Our gratitude goes out to the members of the Royal Sala Thai Scholarship Committee, who made the fund possible.”

More than 3,100 Thai scholars, researchers, students and professionals in business, government, journalism and the arts have participated in East-West Center cooperative programs of research, study, training and dialogue since the Center was established in 1960.  Currently, 12 students from Thailand are pursuing advanced studies in Hawai‘i on East-West Center scholarships.

The Royal Sala Thai Scholarship Fund Committee
The members of the Royal Sala Thai Scholarship Fund Committee are: Prof. Dr. Wichit Srisa-an, Co-Chair; Prof. Dr. Thienchay Kiranandana, Co-Chair; Khunying Supatra Masdit, Co-Chair; Assoc. Prof. Nopamat Veohong, Co-Chair; Pat Loui, Co-Chair and EWCA Liaison; Dr. Chalintorn Burian, EWC Representative; H.E. Ambassador Sarasin Viraphol; Khunying Sumonta Promboon; Dr. Naris Chaiyasoot; Dr. Chamnong Vibulsri; Prof. Dr. Surapone Virulrak; Assoc. Prof. Onchuma Yuthavong; Prof. Sukum Attavavutichai; Yongsrit Charuburana; Dr. Rawewan Prakobpol; Assoc. Prof. Malinee Wongsith; Maliwan Pattanachaisiri; and Chatwut Wangwon.


The EAST-WEST CENTER is an education and research organization established by the U.S. Congress in 1960 to strengthen relations and understanding among the peoples and nations of Asia, the Pacific, and the United States. The Center contributes to a peaceful, prosperous and just Asia Pacific community by serving as a vigorous hub for cooperative research, education and dialogue on critical issues of common concern to the Asia Pacific region and the United States. Funding for the Center comes from the U.S. government, with additional support provided by private agencies, individuals, foundations, corporations, and the governments of the region.