Hmong Studies center receives $50,000 gift


The Center for Hmong Studies at Concordia University has just received an anonymous gift of $50,000 from a Hmong entrepreneur to match the $130,000 challenged grant that local businessman Phil Frandrei made to the Hmong community earlier in 2005 in his effort to galvanize support for the Center.

The Hmong entrepreneur wishes to remain anonymous. In making his gift, he said, “it is not important who I am, but what I believe. I believe that what the Center for Hmong Studies is trying to do to preserve the past, understand the present and plan for future through research, offering of a minor and convening scholar through the international conference is a great thing, not only for this generation but for future generations to come.”

With the addition of the $50,000, the Center for Hmong Studies is well underway to meeting its’ goals of raising $130,000 from the Hmong community. To date close to $75,000 has been raised. “If we work hard and have the support from more Hmong members of the community, there’s no reason why we can’t exceed the challenged amount,” said Lee Pao Xiong, Director of the Center for Hmong Studies. “I was surprised and at the same time thankful,” he said of the donation. “Although the concept of giving is not new, giving to causes outside of one’s own circle of family is” said Lee Pao. “Hmong people donate to weddings, funerals, graduation and other cause related events. I believe with the right cause and the right approach, the Hmong community is more than willing to assist in any way that they can.”

The Center also received a $20,000 gift from Mr. Xang Vang, a Hmong entrepreneur and a long time community activist in Minnesota earlier in the year.

The Center for Hmong Studies’ goal is to raise $5 million in five years to support and sustain the work of the Center through the establishment of an endowment. “Through the generosity of one non-Hmong individual, we already have a $1 million committed towards the $5 million endowment goal,” said Lee Pao Xiong.

If you are interested in helping the Center for Hmong Studies at Concordia University achieve it funding goals, please call or email to the director of the Center for Hmong Studies, Lee Pao Xiong, at 651-641-8879 or via email at To learn more about the Center’s work, log onto their website at