September 21

Thanks to your generosity, we are able to work together towards the dream we share of a better, safer world.  You are demonstrating your commitment to the core mission of the East-West Center – promoting deeper understanding and relations among the peoples and nations of the Asia Pacific region.  Please know that the Center is deeply grateful for your engagement and vital contribution as a member of the East-West Center community.

World Gratitude Day began in 1965 when ninety grantees were hosted by Sri Chinmoy for a Thanksgiving dinner at the East-West Center.  As director of the United Nations Meditation Group, he suggested the idea as a globally unifying holiday.  Each person pledged to hold a gratitude gathering each September 21 in their own country.  The United Nations Meditation Group formally celebrated World Gratitude Day on September 21, 1977 at the New York Headquarters where Sri Chinmoy was honored for his work.  And since then, World Gratitude Day has been observed all over the world.



Left: Marianne Dutkiewicz, Charles Morrison, Tai Young Lee; Right: Keric Chin, Amanda Ellis

A special donor recognition celebration was enjoyed by members of the 50th Founders Society and East-West Legacy Society.  The 50th Founders Society honors and permanently recognizes donors who have contributed $50,000 or more to the East-West Center since its founding in 1960.  The East-West Legacy Society recognizes alumni and friends who support the mission of the East-West Center in their estate plans.

Yi-Chieh Lai playing the guzheng

Yi-Chieh Lai (Taiwan), the first recipient of the Gary S.H. Lin Fellowship, began the program by playing the traditional Chinese guzheng, or plucked zither.  After a delicious lunch, Amanda Ellis spoke on “Pay It Forward:  Personal and Professional Reflections on the East-West Center Legacy.”  She paid it forward by establishing a scholarship endowment in honor of her mother to encourage young women leaders from Australia and New Zealand to study in the Asia Pacific Leadership Program.

Amanda Ellis and Keric Chin were fellow participants at the Center who married in 2002.  She was most recently New Zealand’s Head of Mission and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva.  Keric served in the US Air Force for 20 years and is currently a lawyer and international legal consultant.  They expressed their gratitude to the generous donors who see the need in the world for leadership and invest in the Center.  EWC alumni share a sense of community that continues to impact them throughout their lives.