The Department of Asian American Studies mourns the loss of Dr. Betty Lee Sung. Sung received bachelor's degrees in sociology and economics from the University of Illinois, and a PhD. from the CUNY Graduate Center. A key figure in the founding of Asian American Studies, Sung was an expert on Chinese Americans and the author of nine books. Throughout her life, Sung was committed to the flourishing of Asian American Studies, including an endowment named after her at the University of Illinois for an undergraduate award. Each year the Department of Asian American Studies honors an outstanding undergraduate student in her name:

Her story can be read in the following obituary: