Yvette Chang '88 announces $10,000 gift to SIA

Whether she was practicing law in Taiwan or handling international transactions in the United States, Yvette Chang ‘88 Lib has always appreciated the value of international education in today's global economy. Immediate past counsel for Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC, Chang has announced a $10,000 gift to the School of International Affairs that will enhance international education at Penn State.

“Her gift will have an immediate impact on the School and will allow students to maximize their international education,” said Tiyanjana Maluwa, director of the School of International Affairs. “We appreciate her generosity.”

Chang attributes her enthusiasm for the School of International Affairs to an intersection of things she is most passionate about: law, education, and internationalism. “I value the education I received at Penn State; I value the importance of international business and law; and I wanted to help others share in my appreciation and participate fully in an ever-growing global economy,” she said.

Chang holds undergraduate degrees in international relations and foreign service from Penn State. She earned a J.D. at New York Law School before joining law firms in Taiwan, New York, and New Jersey. She has served as an officer and one of the initial co-chairs of the Asian American Bar Association of New York's (AABANY) Women's Committee for several years and is co-chair of the Corporate Counsel Committee.

Chang is a longtime advocate for raising awareness of the challenges faced by women, particularly women of color, in the legal profession. Chang helped establish an annual panel for women attorneys called the “Women's Leadership Forum” at AABANY and participated in launching an employee affinity group at Mercedes-Benz called “Mercedes Ladies,” dedicated to addressing workplace issues of concern to women employees. Despite her hectic schedule, Chang finds time to mentor students and young lawyers, sharing her perspective and helping her protégés with decision-making and job planning.

Chang feels that philanthropy is an important venture. She and her husband, Victor, are planning to start a foundation that will benefit education, art, environment, health, and animal welfare, among other causes.
“I believe that since we're in a position where we are able to contribute finances, time, knowledge and skills, we have a moral obligation to do so. I think everyone who is fortunate enough to be in a position to contribute, whether it is time or money, should find what they are passionate about and support it wholeheartedly.”

Chang also hopes that her giving will set an example. “When you give, you start a cycle. It encourages others to give, and later, those who benefited from that gift hopefully will donate to support the dreams of the next generation of students and it just continues.”

She encourages others to give to the School of International Affairs. “It's a wonderful way to strengthen the school's mission and goals. People who are considering giving should keep in mind that with a new program like this, they will make an immediate impact. You will find that it is very rewarding. When you give to a school you're providing that school with the means to provide the students with the tools to make the most of their educational opportunity.”