Charles Yuan oral history interview and transcript
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Elder Charles Yuan was born in Hsinchu, Taiwan in the late 1940s. He has two older sisters, who were born in mainland China and one younger brother who was born in Hsinchu, Taiwan. Elder Charles attended an all boy’s high school in Taiwan and later on attended Tunghai University, a Christian Liberal Arts University, where he majored in Chemistry and a minor in Literature. Upon graduation, he completed his two years of obligatory military service in Taiwan. After he was discharged from the military, he took the TOEFL and GRE and applied for a PhD program at the University of New Orleans. As soon as he arrived in America, he quickly found a Chinese Church community to be a part of. After completing his PhD, he worked for DuPont chemical company for 22 years. In 1999, a major earthquake struck Taiwan , in which Elder Charles started the Light and Salt Association, a Christian charity organization, to raise disaster relief funds for Taiwan (the organization continues to do other types of charity work after the earthquake). The earthquake also prompted him to move back to Taiwan, which he then served as the chairman for the international school, Wager Academy, that his brother established. He also briefly worked at Golden Jaguar, a food and beverage company, where he worked on food safety and Human Resources. Elder Charles also served as the Asian American advisor to the City of Houston Mayor, Mayor Lee Brown, in the late 1990s. At Clear Lake Chinese Church (CLCC), he served as the church’s Chinese school principal for 15 years, a Deacon of the church and now is an Elder. Elder Charles is currently retired and devotes all of his time serving in the church and several community organizations, including Light and Salt. Throughout the interview, Elder Charles also talks about the growth of CLCC and the demographic changes within the church in the last 40 years.
This recording and transcript form part of a collection of oral history interviews conducted by the Chao Center for Asian Studies at Rice University. This collection includes audio recordings and transcripts of interviews with Asian Americans native to or living in Houston.