Paul Whang was one of the first Korean-Americans to graduate from San Francisco State University. After completing his degree, he received his teaching credential and aspired to become a teacher in San Francisco. At that time, a counselor told him that the chances of finding work as an Asian American would be impossible.
But through Mr. Whang’s resiliency and determination, he pursued an extraordinary career with the San Francisco Park and Recreation Department. As Director of the Chinese Playground and Chinese Recreation Center for 30 years, he impacted the lives of countless Chinese youth who came to the playground every day after school. Mr. Whang passed away in 2005, and his family has now generously endowed a fellowship in his honor at SF State.
The Paul Whang Memorial Fellowship will support students in the Asian American Studies Department, enabling them to perform community service with an community organization serving low-income Asian American youth. Chair of the Department Grace Yoo says, “The Whang Fellowship brings students directly into the community, one of the core missions of the Asian American Studies Department at SF State. As one of our distinguished alums, Mr. Whang’s memory is dear to our hearts. We hope to share his legacy of giving back with our current students.”
Mr. Whang’s daughter, Gail Whang, speaks of her family’s motivation for establishing the endowment. “It is our honor to establish this endowment at SF State to commemorate and acknowledge Paul’s work in the Asian community. A humane and modest man, he never boasted about his work. Dad would be so touched and honored by this endowment.” Thank you to Gail and the Whang family for their extraordinary support!