Friday, July 31, 2020

Who Is YS?

TigerBlog has met YS Chi enough times to have come up with one word to best describe him.

That word?


Chi just oozes positivity in every conversation, whether it's in Jadwin Gym or on the phone from thousands of miles and a continent or two away. It's something innate for him, TB believes, and it's impossible to miss.

There are other words that describe him as well, of course.

He's generous. He's loyal. He's philanthropic. He's very, very Princetonian.

When you combine all of these things, it's not a surprise that he's made such amazing contributions to Princeton, and to Princeton Athletics. He's given in every way a person can, with his time, his donations, his enthusiasm.

Chi's latest contribution to Princeton is "The Chi Family Fund For Excellence And Inclusion," which was announced today. From the release:
Specifically, the gift will directly benefit Princeton's steadfast commitment to recruit, develop and retain coaches and administrators from broad and diverse backgrounds; create professional education programming that builds high performing employee teams that value diversity; and constantly foster a workplace in which all feel valued and supported to pursue their full potential and contribute their best.

This gift follows an earlier one that created the Chi/Ingram Endowment Fund, which "provides the Department of Athletics with supplemental funding for a team or teams whose coach or coaches demonstrate excellence in teaching and developing student-athletes not only as players but also as people"

The two gifts speak volumes about YS Chi.

They are investments in people. His commitment is to taking young people and helping them grow, giving them the foundation to reach their fullest potential. This involves mentoring them directly, something he's done countless times.

It also involves giving those who are in position to influence them - specifically Princeton's coaches and senior athletic administrators - the tools necessary to lead at the highest levels.

The fund for excellence and inclusion comes at an important time. Princeton Athletics has been taking steps and having major discussions in this area, and the department is fully committed to the work, something that YS is 100 percent behind.

So who is YS Chi?

He's a member of the Class of 1983 (the Chi/Ingram Fund is in conjunction with his classmate John Ingram). He has been very involved with the Friends of Princeton Golf, even going so far as to caddie for Tiger alum Kelly Shon in the U.S. Open.

He's also a leader in the media and technology industry.

In his primary role as Director of Corporate Affairs and Asia Strategy for RELX, he is responsible for government affairs, corporate communications and corporate responsibility. As non-executive Chairman of Elsevier, he works directly with governments, customers and in industry associations worldwide.

He has also recently served as chairman of the Association of American Publishers and is a past-president of the International Publishers' Association. He has also been a key part of dozens of charitable, educational and industry boards, beyond serving as a Princeton Trustee.

And he is as big a Princeton as there is, which begs a question: Was he an athlete during his time at Princeton?

The answer to that is that he was not.

YS stands 5-4, and, in his joking words, "was not built to be an athlete." But he's always loved sports.

He's loved the competition. He's loved the impact it's had on the people who compete. He's loved the way that sports and character and leadership are all connected.

He grew up playing sports, especially soccer, tennis, swimming and volleyball. He was good at all of them, not just great at any of them. While a Princeton student, he was in the stands for pretty much everything, any game he could attend to show support for his friends who happened to be playing.

In many ways, he reminds TB a bit of TB, who himself has always valued the athletic experience, who was very good but not great at a lot of different sports as a kid and who was never able to compete on the college level. As YS said, it's "an incredible social medium" to be part of a team, and TB has spent his career attempting to chronicle what that means to the people who are able to participate, for the people who could not.


He's made a different kind of impact, a more direct one. He's given in ways that most people cannot, and not just financially.

And the leaders and athletes at Princeton have been the beneficiaries. In a major way.

With the Chi Family Fund for Excellence and Inclusion, that legacy adds another chapter.

And the man who is making it happen is just a good old-fashioned, down-to-earth nice guy, on top of everything else.

That's what defines him. That, and his incredible positivity.

Princeton Athletics is much the better for it.

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