The Visiting Asian Scholars Program (VASP) was founded during the 2012-13 academic year to continue the legacy of the Freeman Fellows Program (1996-2012) which brought scholars from partner institutions in China to the University of Illinois campus to promote exposure to American society, engagement with academic communities, and access to resource materials. VASP was created to expand this mission to scholars from academic institutions in East Asia, Southeast Asia, and Central Asia. Since the launch of the program, we have welcomed over 40 scholars of diverse academic disciplines from China, Japan, and Korea to conduct research, present their work, and collaborate with faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
The Freeman Foundation itself was established in 1993 in memory of Mansfield Freeman, a longtime resident of Asia, distinguished scholar of Chinese philosophy, and co-founder of American International Group Inc, A.I.G. The Freeman Foundation’s mission is to facilitate the development of international understanding between the United States and countries in East Asia.
The Freeman Fellows Program at the University of Illinois was founded in 1996 and continued until the 2012-13 academic year. During its 16 years, nearly 200 Chinese scholars from 12 partner institutions have been able to come to the University of Illinois campus. The mission of the Freeman Fellows Program was to provide an opportunity for Chinese scholars to do research on topics of interest to them at a national research university; to provide Chinese scholars with opportunities to learn more about the United States; and to provide an opportunity for Chinese scholars to communicate with Americans with the goal of increasing understanding between Chinese citizens and American citizens.
To learn more about the Freeman Foundation and the Freeman Fellows Program at the University of Illinois, please visit their website.