Sunday, December 3, 2023

U ceremony honors donor

November 27, 2000

For Delia Koo, supporting international programs at MSU is more important than all the money in the world.

Koo, who received a master’s degree from MSU in 1954, donated an undisclosed sum for the addition of a third floor to the academic wing of the International Center. The money will also pay for fellowships, scholarships and programs.

Koo’s donation was recognized at a ceremony Friday. The building’s academic wing, including the library space, will be renamed the Delia Koo International Academic Center.

“I have all my life believed in donating to education even though I am not rich,” said Koo, 79. “Whatever money I come into I donate to education. I started doing that way back maybe in the 1960s.”

At the event, Koo, who immigrated to the United States in 1941 from China, was named a member of MSU’s Joseph R. Williams Society, which honors donors who contribute $1 million or more. The ceremony was held during the Thanksgiving holiday so Koo’s family could attend.

“I feel honored,” Koo said. “I haven’t done much of anything. I just have been very active in trying to help the international students.”

But some university officials were more than pleased with Koo’s generosity.

President M. Peter McPherson, Provost Lou Anna Simon, Trustee Dee Cook and John Hudzik, dean of International Studies and Programs, were among the university officials at Friday’s event.

“It was something that she did from her heart and that’s something that makes the gift even more personal for the university,” Cook said.

Cook, who accepted the donation on behalf of the MSU trustees, said the contribution and Koo’s humility about it are extraordinary. Cook also talked about Koo’s life, work and education at the event.

“I was delighted that she asked to have me speak at this event,” Cook said. “This is a magnificent gift that’s really going to make a difference in the lives of students. It’s not only a brick and mortar gift


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