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The PASS program started in April 1992 and was supported by Augsburg President Charles Anderson. Augsburg had received a large grant from the General Mills Foundation to develop support services for Asian students, focusing on Southeast Asian populations. Having supported the American Indian support services a few years prior, Anderson saw the same need in the Asian community, especially for Southeast Asian and first-generation college students. The support program was initially called “Asian American Support Services (AASS)” and housed on the second floor of the Music Building.

Today, the program serves over 200 self-identified Asian or mixed ethnicity undergraduate students and manages a peer-to-peer mentor program that helps Augsburg recruit and retain the Pan Asian community.


Past Pan Asian Student Services Directors

Thank you for such dedication to the growth, leadership, mentorship, and friendship to the Pan Asian Student Services!

1993-1998: Lee Hoon Benson

1998-2008: Bao Lee Thao

2008-2013: Penh Lo

2014-2023: Hli Vang

2023-Present: Paul Vang

Highlights from the past 25 years

  • In November 1991, The General Mills Foundation awarded Augsburg a four-year grant to provide grants and support services to Southeast Asian students
  • The program grew from fewer than 50 students who identified as Asian in 1992 to over 110 in 1997
  • General Mills Foundation funds exhausted in July 1996
  • Augsburg President Charles Anderson and Leadership approved a budget to continue the department Pan Asian Student Services
  • There was an increase in the cohort student retention rate to 80 percent by the spring semester of 1998
  • Asian student leaders started the tradition to attend NCORE and Midwest Asian American Student Union (MAASU) conferences to network and grow professionally in 1998
  • The first Asian Students in Action(ASIA) Scholarship was awarded in 2001 to recruit Pan Asian Students, incoming students
  • Refugee Odyssey Simulation started in 2008
  • Augsburg Asian Student Association become commissioned in 2009
  • ASIA Scholarship aimed to recruit students moved to a retention tool, awarding students who have been attending Augsburg for at least one semester in 2009
  • Pan Asian Student Services Internship and Mentor Program was established in 2009 in alignment with the ASIA scholarship
  • Augsburg host MAASU leadership conference in 2010
  • Hmong Women Together, a student club formerly known as Sister for Success was established in 2014
  • First Pan Asian College Overnight Hosted in November 2016 with 29 applications
  • Admissions Application inquires self-identification of Asian ethnic background to collect disaggregated data, including over 63 Asian ethnicities to choose from
  • Augsburg celebrates 25 years of serving Pan Asian Students in 2017
  • Pan Asian Students Concerns Committee is established in 2017
  • Pan Asian Student Services secures funds for a paid Internship and to support Mentor Program for 2017- 2018
  • Hmong Women Together became commissioned in 2018