Bookmark and Share Email this page Email Print this page Print

A look back at East-West Center’s milestones

May 14, 1960:

Lyndon Johnson and John. A Burns’ vision of linking the west to the east is brought to life. The East-West Center is established by an act of Congress.

Photos: Courtesy East-West Center



May 9, 1961:

It’s official! EWC founders, Johnson and Burns participate in the center’s groundbreaking ceremony. The first buildings were designed by Chinese-born architectural star I.M Pei.






Japan’s Crown Prince Akihito and Princess Michiko bless the Center’s signature Japanese garden at Jefferson Hall with a traditional release of koi into the garden stream. PHOTO




The first trans-Pacific exchange program for professional journalists takes place through Jefferson Fellowships signaling the beginning of U.S. and Asian relations.


The East-West Center sponsors and help builds the Hokulea with the Polynesian Voyaging Society.



S. Ann Dunham, mother of President Barack Obama, joins the East-West Center’s Technology and Development Institute as a graduate degree fellow in anthropology. Obama’s stepfather, Lolo Soetoro also pursued his graduate degree from the University of Hawaii while on an East-West Center scholarship.






An independent, international Board of Governors is created through an East-West Center charter.








The East-West Center creates the Hawaii International Film Festival as a Center project.




Zhao Ziyang, first premier of the People’s Republic of China, visits the East-West Center, delivering his first U.S. public address.



For the first time, a U.S. president has a joint meeting with the heads of government in the Pacific Islands. President George H.W. Bush holds a United States-Pacific Islands Summit at the East-West Center.




The East-West Center opens an art gallery to promote community outreach through culture and the arts. PHOTO



The East-West Center becomes the first institution in the U.S. to raise funds to assist victims of a devastating Asian tsunami. A tsunami relief fund with more than $500,000 is established.






Jan. 12, 2010:

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivers a major Asia Pacific policy address at the East-West Center on the importance of increased collaboration in the region.



The East-West Center celebrates its 50th anniversary.


HONOLULU Magazine invites you to comment on our articles and the issues they raise. Comments are moderated for offensive language, commercial messages and off-topic posts. Some comments may be chosen for inclusion in the magazine on the Feedback page, if name and city are included. Comments are moderated as time allows.

Add your comment: