"There is just something comforting about the atmosphere surrounding the A³C."
The A³C builds a community of Asian and Asian American students, faculty, staff and alumni that fosters greater understanding and awareness of the Asian experience in America. It offers many resources for the community. The A³C is home to over thirty student organizations that hold weekly meetings and rehearsals in the center and also use the office as workspace for planning events.
The center houses the Asian American Resource Library which contains Asian American literature, reference texts, hard-to find-periodicals, university documents, newspaper clippings and videos. Located in the center for student use are a computer cluster, fax machine, TV, VCR, DVD and stereo.
Students come to the A³C for information on campus resources and community service opportunities; for meetings; for cultural and educational programs and workshops; for research materials; for organizational and personal advising; for relaxing between classes; and to study. In the evenings, student organizations utilize the space for group meetings and events. Staff come to the A³C to attend events, meet as staff and connect with and mentor students. Faculty come to the A³C for resources, help with research projects and to speak at workshops and on panels. Alumni come to the A³C to meet students and to host meetings and events. Campus partners come to the A³C for advice, collaborations and to connect with students.
The Asian American Activities Center, A³C, is a department under the Vice Provost of Student Affairs and serves as Stanford’s primary resource for Asian and Asian American student affairs and community development. The A³C contributes to the academic mission of the University through its partnerships and collaborative work with faculty, departments and academic programs. Through programming and advising, the center facilitates the multicultural education of all students and the development of leaders who are able to negotiate an increasingly diverse and complex workplace and global environment.
The Asian American Activities Center has a long history at Stanford as a student-initiated space that has transformed over the years to meet the current needs of the Stanford student body. The first iteration of the center, the Asian American Resource Center, began in 1972 after a group of students involved in the newly formed Asian American Students Alliance (AASA) advocated for and received an office space in the Old Fire Truck House. For the first decade of its existence, the center was staffed entirely by five student volunteer interns. In 1977, the name of the center was changed to the Asian American Activities Center.
In 1987, the Dean of Students approved funding for a half-time director/dean position in response to a set of demands proposed by the Rainbow Agenda (including students from AASA, MEChA, SAIO and BSU). Julian Low served in this inaugural role and was supported by Elsa Tsutaoka as the Office Manager. In 1989, the Dean of Student Affairs formally institutionalized the A³C by hiring Richard Yuen as the first full-time director. Soon after in 1991, Cindy Ng was hired as the first program coordinator, from which she was first promoted to assistant director and then promoted to her current position as associate dean and director. Shelley Tadaki, who received both her BA and MA from Stanford, served as the associate director of the center from 2004-2012. After a year-long search, Jerald Adamos was hired in 2012 as the associate director and then received a title change to assistant dean and associate director. In 2018, the Vice Provost for Student Affairs approved funding for a third full-time staff position and Latana Thaviseth was hired as the assistant director. In 2020, Stanford alumni and siblings Will Hsu '98 and Angie Hsu '96, MA '96 established the Scott J. J. Hsu Directorship Fund for the Asian American Activities Center to honor their father, Scott J. J. Hsu, which created the first endowed directorship for the Stanford Community Centers.
On Stanford's main campus at the edge of White Plaza, the Asian American Activities Center (A3C) is now located in the Clubhouse Building of the historic Old Union complex and is a university department within the Centers for Equity, Community, and Leadership (ECL) in the Division of Student Affairs.
A³C Endowed Directorship
Siblings Will Hsu ’98 and Angie Hsu’96, MA ‘96 endowed the A³C’s Director position in honor of their father, Scott J.J. Hsu, who emigrated from Taiwan along with the rest of the family, including Will and Angie, in hopes of creating a better life for his children – and recognizes the important role the center played during their undergraduate experience.
In making the gift in December 2020, Will said, A³C was our home away from home, a place to celebrate Asian American identity. The A³C was the place where we could learn about and embrace our community. With this gift, we want to thank our parents for their sacrifices, pay it forward to help other students and inspire current and future alumni to support this remarkable community for years to come.”
The Scott J.J. Hsu Directorship is the first endowed directorship created for the community centers. The endowment will allow the A³C to continue to build programs and resources to support student well-being, to affirm every student’s identity and cultural background, and to support their sense of belonging and community. We look forward to building and expanding our mentoring, mental health and well-being, leadership development programs, and our racial and social justice initiatives.
We hope this inspiring gift generates increased understanding and appreciation for the work of Stanford’s community centers and the impact the centers have on student lives.”
Link to Stanford Report story.