History and Mission

The Li Foundation was founded in 1944 by Dr. Kuo Ching Li.  The Foundation’s primary goal was to promote friendly relations between the United States and China.  Educational exchange was deemed a suitable vehicle for achieving this goal.

The initial charter of the Foundation provided for a limited number of fellowships to promising students from China, desirous of working on a Master’s degree in the United States.   Over the years, the Foundation has sponsored hundreds of Chinese students at the Master’s, Ph.D. and post-doctoral level.

The Foundation has actively established new programs with academic institutions in the United States, placing an emphasis on commitment by sponsorship.  These programs include sister-city relationships.  The Foundation has provided scholarships in all areas of science and medicine, as well as the arts and humanitarian fields of study.

In  1993 the Foundation proudly established the Heritage Prize.  This prize is awarded to outstanding scholars, educated in the United States, who have a strong desire to return to their homeland, but lack the necessary financial support to establish themselves once they return.

The Foundation provides the recipient with a cash prize in recognition of his/her achievement, along with funding which allows them to establish themselves professionally at their respective institution in China.