Chinatrust Financial Holding Co (中信金控) founder and chairman Jeffrey Koo (辜濂松) has won this year’s distinguished alumnus award from Eisenhower Fellowships Inc for promoting international exchanges and world peace, the nation’s third-largest financial group said in a statement released yesterday.
Koo is the first Taiwanese to win the honor, which has been granted only to one organization and three individuals since the establishment of the US-based fellowships 60 years ago.
Eisenhower Fellowships Inc chairman and former US secretary of defense General Colin Powell presented Koo with the award at the Rittenhouse Hotel in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on Thursday, the statement said.
Koo has made important contributions to trade, economics and diplomacy after taking the helm of the Eisenhower Fellows Association Taiwan.
During the ceremony, Koo expressed his gratitude and dedicated the honor to all members of the Eisenhower Fellows Association, the statement said.
He praised Eisenhower fellowships for the contributions they have made to the world over the years and said he hoped they would continue to make a difference in the finest of traditions.
Koo’s speech was met with a standing ovation from the guests from Taiwan, the US, Australia, Finland, Peru, Brazil, China, India and many other countries, the statement said.
Koo was named an Eisenhower fellow in 1971 and became a trustee in 1980, one of the few non-American trustees on the board, the statement said.
In 1973, Koo and nine other Eisenhower fellows launched a domestic appeal to emulate the spirit of the international exchange program by founding the Eisenhower Fellows Association Taiwan.
He has been the founding president of the association ever since and he also became its chairman in 2002.
For the past four decades, Koo has met with many top government officials and banking executives during his visits to the US.
He has also engaged with Eisenhower fellows from other countries and formed many international friendships, the statement said.