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Family love leads donor to create two endowed scholarships at UCLA Center for Buddhist StudiesFrom left: CBS Director and Professor Torquil Duthie, fellow donor Soyeon Kim, donor Kyung Ki (Cindy) Min, Distinguished Research Professor Robert Buswell and Buddhist studies doctoral student Bhikku Dukil. (Photo: Peggy McInerny/ UCLA.)

Family love leads donor to create two endowed scholarships at UCLA Center for Buddhist Studies

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By Peggy McInerny, Director of Communications

Kyung Ki (Cindy) Min has created two endowed scholarships at the UCLA Center for Buddhist Studies that provide valuable support to students of Buddhism.

UCLA International Institute, May 24, 2023 — Generous gifts from donor Kyung Ki (Cindy) Min have established two endowed scholarships at the UCLA Center for Buddhist Studies in honor of her family members.

The Kyung Ki Min Family Scholarship in Memory of Byung Doo Min and Oh Yer Lee was created in 2021 in honor of Ms. Min’s parents, who were devout Buddhists and active philanthropists in the field of education. The Kuk Ki Min Family Scholarship, which augments the initial fund, was established in 2023 in memory of Ms. Min’s sister and her family.

Scholarships funded by the endowments will support undergraduate and graduate students associated with the Center for Buddhist Studies, or CBS, particularly those interested in studying the Korean Buddhist tradition. Participation in summer research or travel programs dedicated to the study of Buddhism will also qualify for scholarship support.

Beginning in 2024, two Min Family Scholarships will be awarded by CBS in perpetuity each May. The month holds special familial significance for Ms. Min, as the anniversary of her mother’s passing and the birthday of her late sister both fall in May.

“The Center for Buddhist Studies is deeply gratefully to Ms. Min for her gifts,” said CBS Director Torquil Duthie, professor in the UCLA Department of Asian Languages and Cultures.

“Inspired by the example of her parents’ philanthropic efforts and her belief in the transformative power of education, Ms. Min specifically sought to support students. A devout Buddhist herself, she is now enabling a younger generation of Bruins to learn about Korean Buddhism.”

“These gifts are a heartening reminder that Korean Buddhism is alive and well, and our graduate and undergraduate students continue to be interested in learning about the tradition,” said Robert Buswell, former CBS director and distinguished research professor of Buddhist studies at UCLA.

Ms. Min, a retired federal employee who immigrated to the United States from South Korea with her family in 1973, chose UCLA as the locus for the scholarships because many of her nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews are Bruin alumni. To date, eight have completed undergraduate and/or graduate degrees here.

Inaugural Kyung Ki Min Family Scholarships were awarded in May 2022 to graduate student Seongryong Lee (a Buddhist monastic also known by his Dharma name, Bhikkhu Dukil) and undergraduate student Riya Christie (UCLA 2023).

From left: Center for Buddhist Studies Director Torquil Duthie, donor
Kyung Ki (Cindy) Min and Bhikkhu Dukil, who received one of two inaugural
Kyung Ki Min Family Scholarships in 2022. (Photo: Peggy McInerny/ UCLA.)

Bhikkhu Dukil is currently finishing his doctoral dissertation in Buddhist studies, which focuses on a comparison of the Chinese and Pali versions of one of the earliest Buddhist texts, composed during what he calls the pre-institutional phase of Buddhism. Senior Christie, a Korean language major who expects to graduate summa cum laude in June, has used her scholarship to take courses in Korean Buddhism, Korean religion and Korean history.

In coming years, Min Family Scholarships will continue to ensure that the Korean Buddhist tradition remains an important focus of research and study by UCLA students.