The Bach Lien Tong Duong Scholarship
Born in Long Xuyen, Vietnam on May 1, 1948, "Co Lien" escaped Vietnam with her sisters following the war and arrived in the U.S. in 1975. In 1976, she and her sisters opened Gainesville's first ever Vietnamese restaurant, Inn of the White Lotus. She earned a B.S. in Computer Engineering from the University of Florida in 1984 and started a career as a Computer/I.T. Analyst for the Gainesville Sun and the UF's Infirmary. She retired from UF in 2015.
Her passions included cooking Vietnamese cuisine and helping to develop the Vietnamese community in Gainesville. Co Lien was part of a team that created and taught UF's first Vietnamese language course. She also spearheaded the annual Pho Fundraiser in support of UF's Vietnamese Student Organization for over 30 years. In her last few years, Co Lien's final legacy would be to help establish the Amitabha Buddhist Association, a Buddhist temple in Gainesville.