U Thaung Sein (Steeve Kay, EC70)
- Three (or more) illustrious careers :
- Chose the name which was misspelled by the US Immigration Officer as “Steeve”
Liked the name and used it (instead of “Steve”)
- MSEE from Stanford University
- MBA from Pepperdine University.
- Member of the Board of Trustees at several Universities including University of California at Irvine.
- Never forgot his motherland, alma mater, mentors and benefactors.
- Donated US $200,000+ to RIT-related activities.
- Multiple Golden Sponsor, SPZPs in US, Singapore and Myanmar
- Major sponsor, Reunion and Acariya Pu Zaw Pwes of the Combined 1st BE Intake of 64 and 65Major donor to the Health Care Funds.
- Set up “Steeve and Helen Kay Health Care Fund for RIT Sayas and Sayamas”
- Balance of the fund was handed over to Swel Daw Yeik Foundation.
- Chair, Kay Family Foundation (KFF)
Supports medical research,
educational institutes and labs,
- young entrepreneurs,
disaster relief and much more.
KFF matched dollar for dollar up to US $30000 for the 2015 Alumni Reunion in Los Angeles.
- In October 2000, he donated $3000+ to the First RIT Grand Reunion and Saya Pu Zaw Pwe (SPZP) and became the first Golden Sponsor.
- Sponsored subsequent SPZPs held in Singapore and Yangon.
Health Care Funds
- Donated $50,000+ to the “Steeve and Helen Kay Health Care Fund for RIT Sayas and Sayamas”.
The balance of the fund has been handed over to Swel Daw Yeik Foundation.
- Donated $10,000+ to the Health Care Fund for the “Combined 1st BE Intake of 64 and 65 (AKA the Class of 70 and 71)
Class of 70
- Along with U Tha Htay (M70) and U Benny Tan (M70), Steeve was a major contributor to the “Reunion and Acariya Pu Zaw Pwe” of the Combined 1st BE Intake in 1964 and 1965
- In 2016, he hosted a special gathering for the sayas, sayamas, colleagues and friends. He offered Garawa money of K 1 Lakh to all the sayas and sayamas. He offered an additional K1 Lakh to selected Sayagyis and Sayamagyis. He sent a message that “[in the future] he might not be able to travel frequently and take part in gatherings far away”.
Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST)
- Around SPZP-2012, Steeve and the Kay Family Foundation (KFF) sponsored an Education Delegation from MoST to visit prestigious universities and research institutes in California, USA.
- The delegation comprised of H.E. U Ko Ko Oo (Minister, GBNF), Saya U Nyi Hla Nge and two professors.
Gatherings in Southern California
- Steeve and the Kay Family Foundation established a Matching Fund of $30,000 for the 2015 Alumni Reunion in Los Angeles.
- Sang “Shwe Mi” at the dinner gathering at Knott’s Berry Farms.
- Invited my spouse and I to attend two special gatherings.
- One was for the 40th Anniversary of his arrival in the USA.
- Another was “Celebrating 25 years of QTC“.
QTC was founded by Steeve and his two siblings.
Sold to an investment group for $100+ million.
Steeve (CEO) founded the Kay Family Foundation (KFF).
His sister Dr. Kay, who had several patents for processing Disability Claims, requested him to leave his job as IC designer and co-found QTC.
Dr. Kay established the “B K Kee Foundation” in memory of her mother.
Both foundations fund Medical Research, Education and Disaster Aid (e.g. for Cyclone Nargis).
Email from Steeve in 2000
RIT Poet Laureate Ko Hla Min:
I must admit that I was suffering from a Monday morning “hangover”, having been intoxicated with emotional overdose over the reunion weekend.
Judging from the post-reunion emails I read, I am not alone. What a reunion!
By all measures, it was a success and did satisfy the alumni’s tremendous pent-up desire to reconnect with each other after many decades of separation. The dedication of the members of the organizing committee is second to none.
With the assistance of his lovely wife, Benny Tan devoted practically full-time to this project for several months. I had a first-hand experience to see how meticulous he was when he was designing the RIT T-shirt. It came out a winner!
The prolific writings of RIT’s Poet Laureate, Ko Hla Min, did glue everybody together. Maurice Chee is indeed an unsung hero and KMZ’s “workaholic personality” was put to good use. Ha! Ha!
I do appreciate the sensitivity the organizing committee displayed in making this event non-religious and non-political. Otherwise, it would have been very difficult for me to attend. The only regret is that I failed to locate the whereabouts of my buddy Ko Aung Min of Taunggyi (ME 70). I heard he went to Singapore, but so far my search has ended in “no find”.
Now that the grand reunion is over, everybody is slowly recovering from the “hangover”. The big question is who would go to Singapore in 2002, and how do we go about doing it?
With best regards,
Steeve Kay (Ko Thaung Sein)
- Steeve said, “RIT is a dying breed. If you can get the sayas and alumni connected for two decades, you would have done a great job.”
- At the 40th Anniversary gathering, Steeve said, “Do not retire. You may re-tire (as re-treading a tire). We will try and support you and your projects.”
- I spent five wonderful years at RIT.
When I started the “RIT Alumni International Newsletter” in 1999, I had no idea that I would continue to be a postmaster, organizer and amateur for twenty one years.
- The smiles from my beloved sayas and the occasional “Thanks” from the readers, staunch supporters (including my family members, colleagues and friends) and well-wishers (including Literary Lovers) gave me “second wind”.