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Benigno and Corazon Aquino Scholarship


History of Asian Americans

History of Asian Americans

Introduced to America as laborers in the early nineteenth century, Asians have played an integral role in the development of our nation. Through hard work and determination, our Asian ancestors established a strong presence as immigrants belying the stereotype that Asian Americans are passive, submissive, and indifferent.

In recent years, Asian Americans have gained prominence in all areas of American society as lawyers, teachers, doctors, and workers of all kinds. Despite this progress, the impression remains that Asian Americans are stereotypically not leaders, activists, or strong role models because they continue to live in tight-knit, traditional communities outside the public eye.

To counter this impression and highlight the important role of Asian Americans in our history and future, Boston College, with a donation from the Jesuit Community, has established a scholarship fund to celebrate the accomplishments of students who represent the highest ideals and aspirations of the university and the Asian American community.

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About the Scholarship

In 1995, Boston College created the Asian American Scholarship to recognize a college junior who has demonstrated superior academic achievement, extracurricular leadership, community service, and involvement with the Asian American community and Asian American issues both on and off campus. 

In 2010, this scholarship was named in honor of Benigno and Corazon Aquino, a Filipino husband and wife who led the struggle against dictatorship, repression and injustice in their native Philippines and became symbols of democratic struggle and change throughout Asia and the world.

Benigno (Ninoy) Aquino , educated by Jesuits at the Ateneo de Manila, was the youngest person ever elected senator in the Philippines and was an outspoken critic of the authoritarian regime of Ferdinand Marcos. He was imprisoned by the Marcos government and eventually exiled to the United States where he and his family settled in a home on Commonwealth Avenue in Chestnut Hill just across the street from Boston College. In 1983, Ninoy returned to the Philippines to lead the fight for free, democratic elections, but tragically, he was shot and killed by an assassin the moment he set foot on the tarmac at the airport in Manila.

After the murder of her husband, Corazon (Cory) Aquino, a self-proclaimed “simple housewife”, at great personal risk, also returned home to the Philippines to lead the People Power Movement and the Yellow Revolution against Marcos. She was elected the first female president of the Philippines in 1986 and after her term in office, continued to be an outspoken advocate of human rights, political freedom and social justice on the international stage until her death in 2009.

The lives of the Aquinos continue to inspire the quest for freedom and democracy throughout Asia and represent models of the commitment to integrity, human dignity and service to which we hope all Boston College students will aspire.

The Aquino Scholarship provides up to $20,000 toward senior year tuition for the winner.  In addition, all finalists in the competition also win scholarships of up to $3000.  The winner and all finalists also receive $1000 gift certificates to the Boston College Bookstore. 

A selection committee composed of faculty members, staff, administrators and students reviews all applications and finalists are selected on the basis of two main criteria:

  1. Academic accomplishments as evidenced by strong grades, an ambitious selection of courses, and the integration of academic interests with personal goals; and
  2. Participation in activities, on campus or off, that serve others, and that help strengthen the Asian American community and its contributions to the larger American society.

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Requirements for Candidates

To be considered, you must be:

  • a full-time Boston College junior
  • a citizen or legal permanent resident of the United States
  • in good academic standing with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0
  • active in community service to the Asian American and wider communities on and/or off campus
  • involved with Asain American issues and the Asian American community 

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Selection Process

Selection of the Asian American Scholarship winner will be made by a Selection Committee consisting of staff, faculty, alumni and students.

Preliminary application: The one-page preliminary application form should be completed and along with a comprehensive resume or list of activities be submitted to Dr. Joseph Burns, Associate Vice Provost, 201 Waul House  by March 17, 2014.

Interview round:  The strongest of the preliminary applicants as determined by the committee will be selected for a committee interview. They will also be asked to submit a supplementary essay on Asian American issues and at least one letter of recommendation from someone familiar with their extracurricular or service activities. The finalists and the 2014 Aquino Scholarship winner will be selected from those interviewed. 

Statement of Certification and Release: All applications must include a signed Certification and Release statement in order to be considered.

Announcement of Scholarship Winner: Finalists will be notified in mid-April. The announcement of the winner will be made at the scholarship banquet on a date to be determined.

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Completed applications must be submitted to Dr. Joseph Burns, Associate Vice Provost, 201 Waul House by date to be determined. They may be submitted by email (  or in hard copy.

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Click here  for the preliminary application. Alternatively, hard copies are available from Dean Burns in 204 Waul House.

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Contact Information

For more information about the scholarship, contact:

Joseph Burns
Associate Vice Provost for Undergraduate Programs,
Office of the Provost
(617) 552-3273

Min Song
Chair, Asian American Studies
Associate Professor of English
(617) 552-1655

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Committee Members

Asian American Scholarship

  • Mathew Alonzosana ‘14, 2013 Aquino Scholar
  • Dean Joseph Burns, Office of the Provost, Committee Chair
  • Dean Karl Bell, Assistant Dean, Office of the Dean for Student Development  
  • Prof. Kenji Hayao, Political Science Department
  • Joshua Manlove, Assistant Director, AHANA Student Programs
  • Prof. Arissa Oh, History Department
  • Lucilla Pan ’14, 2013 Aquino Scholar
  • Prof. Lisa (Leigh) Patel Stevens, Lynch School of Education
  • Prof. Min Song, English Department
  • Prof. Billy Soo, Accounting Department
  • Prof. Ted Youn, Lynch School of Education

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Previous Scholarship Winners

Jackson Quan
Steven Kim and Jocelyn Manuel
Sophy Theam
Judy Pisnanont


Shireen Zaman


Dawn Lozada


John Huh

Cindy Uh
2004 Sarah Ha
2005 Jina MoonJina Moon
2006 Annie Le Annie Le

2007 kuong Kuong Ly

2008 yun Catherine Yoon

2009 Malak Yusuf
Jessica Chau


Gururaj Shan


Krystle Jiang


Matt Alonsozana & Lucilla Pan

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Relationship with Asian Caucus

The Asian Caucus is an umbrella organization for nine Asian cultural clubs that seek to educate the Boston College community about the many different Asian cultures and the shared Asian American experience. To this end the Asian Caucus sponsors and/or organizes lectures, performances, workshops, artistic performances, culinary delights, and the Asian American Scholarship.

The member clubs include:

  • Asian Caucus
  • Chinese Student Association
  • Japan Club of Boston College
  • Korean Student Association
  • Philippine Society of Boston College
  • South Asian Student Association
  • South East Asian Student Association
  • Taiwanese Cultural Organization

The Asian Caucus organizes the end of the year event where the recipient of the scholarship is announced.

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