About the Liu Family Gift

The RM Liu Foundation made a gift to the University of Notre Dame to endow a new Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies.
Based in Gardena, Calif., the foundation supports the philanthropic activities of Robert and Mimi Liu and their children, Emily and Justin, both of whom are Notre Dame graduates.
“We are expanding the international dimensions of Notre Dame in many ways, and Asia is an especially important part of our plan,” says Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., the University’s president. “This significant gift will allow us to enhance our current initiatives and to grow in new and exciting directions. We are deeply grateful to Bob, Mimi, Emily, and Justin for their visionary leadership and extraordinarily generous support.”

A Family Legacy

The Liu family has been actively engaged with Notre Dame since the early 1990s.
Emily Liu earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University in 1994. She is a past member of the University’s Asian Pacific Alumni Board of Directors and serves as executive director of the family’s foundation.
Justin Liu earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from Notre Dame in 2000 and is a member of the College of Arts and Letters Advisory Council in addition to serving on the Asian Studies Advisory Board. He is president of the RM Liu Foundation and chief operating officer of Tireco Inc.
Robert Liu is chairman and founder of Tireco, one of North America’s largest importers and private brand marketers of tires and tire-related products from Asia. He serves as the foundation’s vice president and his wife, Mimi, is its secretary treasurer.
The Liu family’s endowment of Notre Dame’s Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies is in honor of Robert Liu’s father, General Liu Fang-Wu, who was a legendary general in the Chinese army during World War II, during which he rescued 7,000 British and 500 American soldiers from Japanese captivity in Burma—an act for which he was repeatedly commended by U.S. presidents and Britain’s Margaret Thatcher.
“Establishing the institute allows us to preserve our family’s history and legacy for future generations,” said Justin Liu. “My grandfather’s actions have been recognized throughout the world, and it was important to our family to honor him in a permanent way moving forward.
“By working with Notre Dame, with its long and prestigious history and the strength of its moral character, our family has found the perfect fit that allows us to preserve that legacy.”

Investing in the Future

The Lius previously funded the Liu Family Endowment for Excellence in Support of Asian Studies and Asian and Asian-American Students. This endowment has supported:
  • programs for undergraduate students, such as the intensive summer Chinese program at Fu Jen Catholic University in Taiwan and the annual Chinese speech competition
  • major events that enrich campus life, such as the annual Asian Film Festival and Conference
  • the Center for Asian Studies
The RM Liu Foundation gift was part of the University’s “Spirit of Notre Dame” campaign, which concluded in 2011 after raising more than $2 billion.