Press Releases

September 14, 2006

APIASF Hosts First Gala Awards Dinner

For Immediate Release

Contact: APIASF
1628 16th Street, NW - Suite 400
Washington, DC 20009
Tel: (202) 986-6892 or (877) 808-7032
Fax: (202) 667-6449

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WASHINGTON, DC — The Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF) will host its first annual awards dinner, the "Today's Minds, Tomorrow's Future SM ", on Thursday, September 14, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. APIASF will be honoring William H. Gray, III, former United States Congressman and Chairman of the Amani Group and Norman Y. Mineta, former United States Secretary of Transportation and Commerce and Vice Chairman, Hill & Knowlton. APIASF will also recognize OCA and The Boston Consulting Group.

Gray, an early proponent of APIASF who was instrumental in the formation of the organization, will receive the APIASF "Excellence in Education" Award. He served as the president and chief executive officer of The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) from 1991 to 2004. As head of America's oldest and most successful African American higher education assistance organization, Gray led UNCF to new fundraising records while cutting costs and expanding programs and services. Prior to his leadership role with UNCF, Gray served in the United States Congress and was a staunch supporter of education. As the first African- American to chair the House Budget Committee, Gray was a leading advocate for strengthening America's educational systems. As chairman of the Democratic Caucus and later as Majority Whip, Gray was the highest-ranking African American ever to serve in Congress.

Norman Y. Mineta, will receive the APIASF "Inspiring Dreams" Award. As the first Asian American to serve in a White House cabinet, Mineta has had a long and distinguished career in public service. Most recently, he served as the United States Secretary of Transportation, where he oversaw an agency with 60,000 employees and a $62.5 billion budget. He also served as the United States Secretary of Commerce under the Clinton administration and was a member of the United States Congress from 1975 to 1995. While in Congress, Mineta was the driving force behind passage of H.R. 442, the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, which officially apologized for and redressed the injustices endured by Japanese Americans during World War II. Additionally, Mineta was the first Asian Pacific Islander American to ever serve as mayor of a major U.S. city (San Jose, CA).

Robert Underwood, APIASF Board Chairman said, "Dr. Gray and Norman Mineta are the epitome of what APIASF is all about. We are pleased to be honoring these stellar individuals at our first awards gala. Dr. Gray is a strong believer in increasing higher education opportunities for everyone and was a supporter of APIASF from day one. Former Secretary Mineta, with his decades of public service, is a role model for many Asian and Pacific Islander Americans. We hope our scholarship recipients and our future leaders are inspired by people like Norm and continue to reach for their goals, be it higher education or otherwise."

OCA and The Boston Consulting Group will also be recognized for their partnership in helping to build APIASF.

The evening's presenting sponsors are AT&T, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Abercrombie & Fitch, and the Asian McDonalds Owners Association/Mc Donald's Corporation. Kenny Endo, master taiko drummer from Hawai’i, will be the featured entertainment. A silent auction and reception are also part of the evening's festivities.

For more information on the gala or to purchase tables, individual tickets or advertisements in the dinner journal, please visit the APIASF website at or contact Sharon Frank, at the APIASF Gala Office, at (212) 675-9474 or About APIASF

The Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF) is based in Washington, DC, and is the country's largest non-profit organization devoted solely to providing scholarships to Asian and Pacific Islander American students. APIASF manages two scholarships: APIASF's general scholarship program and the Gates Millennium Scholars/Asian Pacific Islander Americans (GMS/APIA). Funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and administered by UNCF, the GMS/APIA program provides outstanding Pell Grant eligible APIA students with an opportunity to complete an undergraduate college education in any discipline they choose and a graduate degree in specific fields. Supporters of APIASF include members of the general public and a wide spectrum of community and professional leaders, organizations and corporations. Corporate supporters include, but are not limited to: AT&T, Abercrombie & Fitch, the Coca-Cola Foundation, IBM Corporation, Macy's Inc., McDonald's USA, Met-Life Foundation, Nationwide Financial Networks, the Sodexo Foundation, Southern California Edison, Target, USA Funds, the Wachovia Foundation, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and Wells Fargo.