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East Asian Collection Project

Asian Studies

People Associated with the Freeman Foundation Grant at Macalester

Recent activities at Macalester College sponsored by the Freeman Foundation Grant

Links to selected resources on China and Chinese studies (coming soon)

About the Freeman Foundation

The Freeman Foundation was established in 1994 through the bequest and in memory of the businessman and benefactor Mansfield Freeman, a co-founder of the international insurance and financial conglomerate American International Group, Inc., better known as AIG. This private and philanthropic foundation, based in Stowe, Vermont, with offices in New York City, is dedicated to augmenting international understanding between the United States and the nations of East Asia. It accomplishes this principally through the distribution of grants in the educational sector. The foundation, which grants about $50 million every year to various organizations and institutions, is committed to increasing, strengthening, and popularizing the teaching of Asia in university classrooms. It has created the Undergraduate Asian Studies Funding Initiative to provide grants to numerous American colleges to strengthen and expand their Asian studies programs. The dual aims of the initiative are to increase access to Asian studies courses and to increase the number of students in the United States studying about Asia.

The family’s connection to East Asia is a strong one: Mansfield Freeman, a native of Alpine, New Jersey and a 1916 graduate of Wesleyan University, was a longtime resident of Asia and a distinguished scholar of Chinese philosophy. His publications include a translation of the <Cunxue bian> by Yan Yuan (1635-1704): <Preservation of Learning (Cun xue bian), with an Introduction on His Life and Thought>, Monumenta Serica Monograph, no. 16 (Los Angeles: Monumenta Serica at the University of California, 1972); an exhibition catalogue of historical photographs, documents, and other mementos that provide vivid glimpses into late Qing and early Republican Chinese history, co-authored with Phillip B. Wagoner, <China and the West: Moments of Interaction and Change, 1830-1930> (Middletown, Conn.: Mansfield Freeman Center for East Asian Studies, Wesleyan University, 1989); and <Tai Chen on Mencius: Explorations in Words and Meaning> (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1990), a translation of the <Mengzi ziyi shuzheng> by Dai Zhen (1724-1777), with a critical introduction by Ann-ping Chin and Mansfield Freeman.

After the death of Mansfield Freeman in 1992, the Freeman Foundation was established by his son Houghton “Buck” Freeman, who was born in Shanghai, graduated from Wesleyan University in 1943, and moved from Shanghai to Tokyo in 1949. The foundation is administered by members of the Freeman family: Houghton “Buck” Freeman, his wife Doreen, and their son, Graeme Freeman, a 1977 Wesleyan graduate.

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