Learn the History of the Chinese Chapter

The chapter was officially formed in 1936, but its roots go all the way back to 1913.

The CAA Chinese Chapter traces our roots back to the Chinese Students Club which was founded in February of 1913 by a group of Chinese American students who met at the U.C. “Y” which is now the site of the Harmon Gym. The purpose was to advance knowledge and thought and to help each other cope with racial discrimination while studying at Cal. Among many challenges they faced was housing discrimination. In 1919, with the support of Chinese American alumni and merchants, the Chinese Student Club was able to purchase a house located at 2600 Etna St. from General David Barrow, later President of University of California, who was sympathetic to the plight of Chinese American students in this period of racial discrimination. For the next 45 years, the Clubhouse provided low-cost housing for 12-20 students per semester and served as the off-campus social center for the Club and alumni. In the early 1960’s, as racial discrimination subsided and Chinese American students could find satisfactory housing elsewhere, the Clubhouse was sold. The proceeds formed the UC Chinese Alumni Foundation (UCCAF).

Fundraiser held in FAO Schwartz, Chairs Gennie Ong, Muriel Kao, and Pam Chun join Secretary of State March Fong Eu (left to right).

The Chinese Chapter was officially formed in 1936 with efforts lead by Francis Moon (class of 1921) and the encouragement of then CAA Executive Director, Robert Sibley. For many years our founding fathers and new alumni reunited the night before the Big Game. The Big Game Dinner Dance became our annual signature event. The Cal Band came to cheer us on many times. UC Men’s Octet came too. We had our share of talents as well.  We held fashion shows, campus Fun Runs, tennis tournaments, film screenings, and a Speakers Series featuring Nobel Laureate Steven Chu, “Father of the Hybrid Car” Andy Frank, Professor Tom Gold, and culinary chef Martin Yan.

Our campus Fun run drew huge crowds of participants spanning all ages. Starting in the 1980’s, we held many fundraisers to help build the East Asian Library, the largest stand-alone Asian Library in the United States.

Supporting Cal and its students is one of our main goals. Each year we give out 35 scholarships to deserving students.
Co-presidents Victor Chan (leftmost) and Steve Chan (rightmost) with a few of the scholarship winners.

Learn More

Take a look at a brief history of the Chinese Chapter of the Cal Alumni Association.