Press Releases

October 30, 2008


WASHINGTON, DC — October 30, 2008 -- The Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF) will host its third annual awards dinner, the "Today's Minds, Tomorrow's Future®" Gala, on Thursday, October 30, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the New York Hilton. APIASF will be recognizing J. Alexander M. (Sandy) Douglas, Jr., President, Coca-Cola, North America; Bill Imada, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, IW Group, Inc.; and Don Thompson, President, McDonald's USA. Douglas and Thompson will both receive the APIASF Excellence in Education Award for their respective company's long-standing commitment and support of higher education. Imada will receive the APIASF Inspiring Dreams Award for being the primary visionary whose leadership, enthusiasm and dedication led to the eventual formation of APIASF.

The gala is APIASF's only fundraising event during the year, and all net proceeds go towards APIASF's critical and vital mission-- to insure that as many Asian and Pacific Islander American students as possible have the opportunity to pursue a higher education. This year, APIASF distributed 285 scholarships of $2,500 each to high school seniors, bringing the total amount the organization has distributed since its inception in 2004 to more than $1.8 million. Of those students receiving scholarships this year, 84% were first in their families to attend college and 63% came from underserved communities. The scholars represented 35 of the 50 U.S. States, Micronesia and the Northern Mariana Islands, and the majority of them had a grade point average of 3.7 on a 4.0 scale.

At the gala, past and present APIASF scholarship recipients will share their aspirations and thank the generous sponsors who make our organization possible. Sanjaya Malakar, American Idol Season 6 Finalist, will also make a special guest appearance.

Wai-Ling Eng, Chair, Board of Directors, said, "APIASF is delighted to continue the tradition of honoring corporations and individuals who keep higher education at the forefront. We are proud to be recognizing these gentlemen for their commitment and support of APIASF and for helping to further the education of our future leaders in the Asian and Pacific Islander American community."

The evening's presenting sponsors are McDonald's USA and the Asian McDonald's Operators Association. Other major sponsors/gala co-chairs include Abercrombie & Fitch, AT&T, ING, Nationwide, USA Funds, Coca-Cola North America, FedEx Corporation, IBM, Macy's and the United States Navy Diversity Directorate. A silent auction and reception are also part of the evening's festivities.

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 for Asian and Pacific Islander Americans. APIASF also manages 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. APIASF assumed the administration of this program in September 2006. 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 Boston Consulting Group, McDonald's USA, The Coca-Cola Company, Nationwide, Sodexo, Wachovia, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and Wells Fargo. For more information about APIASF's mission and program, please visit our website at