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Antje Wuelfrath Gee and Harry Gee Jr. Family Legacy Award is a First for UT Graduate School
Family and education go hand in hand in the Gee household, along with the hope of strengthening international ties between The University of Texas and countries of their heritage. The Gees' children, Andrew, Claudia and Sonja, spouses, and grandchildren, salute the idea.
While thinking about a "milestone" birthday this year, Harry Gee Jr., a noted immigration attorney in Houston who was born in China, wanted to do something to "give back." To that end, he and his wife Antje have provided for a unique legacy both scientifically and globally. Their gift of $100,000 creates the first endowed legacy award for exceptional international students from China, Germany, Mexico and the Philippines, as they to come to Houston to seek a Ph.D. degree at The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston.
Harry Gee noted that he was "impressed by the intelligence and vitality of our foreign students, that as young people, their thinking is unfettered by dogma, and because of this, they are able to have fresh ideas and make innovative discoveries." With their gift, the Gees seek to help the best and brightest from around the world-"It will benefit us all-mankind, Houston and our families."
Graduate School Dean, George Stancel, Ph.D., said, "Harry Gee and his family epitomize the things that have made Houston great and will make it even greater - and he has challenged us to strive to be even better in the future, and leads the way."
Gee, a UT Health Science Center at Houston Development Board member since 1998, built his legal practice locally following a B.A. from Rice University and a J.D. from The University of Texas Law School at Austin. He is a past president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, past chairman of the Texas Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, past member of the Board of Governors of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the State Bar of Texas.
Gee was the first and only minority attorney to receive the prestigious Leon Jaworski Award from the Houston Bar Association Auxiliary; he's been honored by the National Conference for Community and Justice through its Humanitarian Award, a recipient of the Spirit Award from the American Bar Association, and designated a Trailblazer by the Pacific Asian American Bar Association. He has received many other awards and honors, too numerous to list.
Not only has he given support and guidance to major educational institutions throughout Houston and Texas, including UT at the health science center, Rice University, the University of Houston Central Campus, Downtown and Clear Lake, the University of St. Thomas and The University of Texas at Austin, but he was instrumental in seeing that the 2004 Super Bowl Committee implemented not one, but two computer centers for disadvantaged youth in Houston, and helped to find the matching resources to make the centers a reality.
By Linda Carter, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
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