WMU News

Hung Peng Lee

Aug. 28, 2003

Hung Peng Lee, assistant professor emeritus of social studies, died July 4 in Honolulu. He was 89.

Lee was a member of the social studies faculty at Western Michigan University from 1970 until his retirement in 1984.

In 2002, Lee donated a 220-year-old Augustine Chappuy violin to the WMU School of Music. He made the donation after reading an article in WMU's faculty and staff newsletter, Western News, about the first recipient of a $24,000 scholarship for string music students established by the Fetzer Institute of Kalamazoo. The violin, which dates from 1781, had been in Lee's possession since 1968. Augustine Chappuy was an eighteenth century French violinmaker.

In a 1971 recital at WMU, which featured Lee and four music students, Lee played two popular songs from his native China, one on a traditional Chinese bamboo flute, and the other on his Chappuy violin.

Born March 25, 1914, in Liaoning Province, China, Lee received a bachelor's degree in political science from the National Northeastern University of China in 1938. During World War II, he served as an interpreter for the famous Flying Tigers and was a captain in the Chinese Air Force until 1947, when he came to the United States. He studied political science at UCLA in the early 1950s, worked in the international law library at Columbia University from 1958 to 1966, and received a master's degree in political science from New York University in 1965.

Prior to joining the faculty at WMU, Lee taught briefly at the State University of New York at Potsdam, Oklahoma State University and Northern Iowa University.

Media contact: Thom Myers, 269 387-8400, thom.myers@wmich.edu

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