Never forgot his roots
Steeve Kay (U Thaung Sein, EC70) never forgot his roots :
his beloved land, alma mater, mentors and friends.
His mentors, colleagues and friends also acknowledge hie metta and cetana. e.g. the Combined 1st BE Intake of 64 and 65 acknowledged him in the GJ (Golden Jubilee for the Admission to RIT) Magazine in 2014. They also presented an Appreciation Award in December 2016.
Steeve graduated with BE (EC) from Rangoon Institute of Technology in 1970. He has an MSEE from Stanford University and MBA from Pepperdine University.
He had three (or more) successful careers : as Designer of Integrated Circuits, as co-founder and CEO of QTC Management and associated companies, and last but not the least as a Philanthropist (e.g. Chair of Kay Family Foundation).
Philanthropy and Interests
His philanthropy has funded research in education (technical, medical, spiritual) and other social causes (e.g. disaster relief). He founded a company (Teehub) to support young entrepreneurs. He donated to several universities and research institutions. He is a Trustee of UCI (University of California of Irvine).
To expand his knowledge and understanding, he visited the sites of the four Religions.
He was the first Golden Sponsor of the First RIT Grand Reunion and Saya Pu Zaw Pwe (SPZP-2000) in San Francisco. California, USA in October 2000. Through Sarina Tan (daughter of his friend), he learned about “RIT Alumni International Newsletter”, the ex-rit web site and the planning of SPZP-2000.
He provided the seed money for SPZP-2000.
Benny Tan made the money grow by designing memorabilia (T-shirt, mug, calculator/clock) and putting some of it for fund raising.
He became a Multiple Golden Sponsor of SPZPs.
Message for Post-Reunion
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 [in October 2000].
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!
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 (M70). 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)
Kay Family Foundation (KFF)
Steeve established the Kay Family Foundation (KFF).
Steeve and KFF donated US $200,000+ for RIT-related causes.
(a) “Steeve and Helen Kay Health Care Fund for RIT Sayas and Sayamas” was set up with US50,000 to take care of eligible sayas. The balance of the fund has been handed over to Swel Daw Yeik Foundation.
(b) KFF sponsored the Education Delegation (led by Minister of Science and Technology) to visit prestigious institutes in California
(c) KFF provided the matching fund of $30,000 for the RIT Alumni Reunion in Los Angeles in 2015.
(d) He hosted several gatherings in the USA and Yangon (including the Reunion and Acariya Pu Zaw Pwe for the Combined 1st BE Intake of 64 and 65).
Steeve attended the True Home Coming in December 2012.
He and Kay Family Foundation offered to sponsor the Education Delegation selected by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) to visit prestigious institutes in California
2015 RIT Alumni Reunion in Los Angeles
Steeve and Kay Family Foundation matched US$30000 for the funds raised for the event.
He sang “Shwe Mi“and expressed how he could help his motherland, alma mater, mentors, alumni and students.
40th Anniversary of Arrival in the US
A few years back, Steeve Kay (U Thaung Sein, EC70) hosted a gathering in Southern California to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of his arrival in the USA.
- Saya Dr. Chris Lee (L Tin Htun, EE59) who retired from NASA
- Ko Sam Chin (ChE62) who worked for UniLever in Rangoon before migrating to the USA
- Ko Henry Khoo (EC67) who picked up Steeve upon his arrival in the USA
- Ko Hla Min (EC69)
- Ko Benny Tan (M70)
- Ko Htin Aung (Richard, M70)
- Ko Zaw Min Nawaday (EP70)
- Dr. Zaw Htun (DDS)
He told me
“You should not retire.
You may re-tire (as in re-threading a tire).
We will try to support you and your projects.
Six Steps to a Dream
- Steeve had a successful career as an IC Designer.
- Per request from his younger sister, he joined her to found QTC, which became a multi-million enterprise.
- The book “Six Steps to a Dream” was published on the 25th Anniversary of the founding of QTC.
- The siblings are philanthropists.
- Steeve founded the Kay Family Foundation.
- His sister founded B K Kee Foundation.
Special Gathering in 2016
The following is the Key Note that I presented at the special gathering.
Welcome to this gathering! Today is a special gathering organized by the 64/65 intakes and sponsored by the Steeve and Helen Kay Saya Health Fund. Today’s event complements last month’s 64/65 intake held an Acariya Pu Zaw Pwe and tomorrow’s seventh RIT Grad Reunion and Saya Pu Zaw Pwe.
In addition to paying our respect to the sayas and sayamas, today we would also like to present to Ko Thaung Sein (Steeve Kay, EC70) an appreciation award for his continued support. Although Steeve Kay migrated to the US in 1971 to pursue his dreams, he never forgot his roots, his alma mater and his friends. Over the past 17 years, Steeve has made various contributions totaling $200,000. Highlights of those contributions are as follows:
Golden Sponsor for SPZPs
As you recall, the first ever RIT Grad Reunion and Saya Pu Zaw Pwe was held in the year 2000. It was started by a group of RIT students in San Francisco, among them Ko Benny Tan and me. I remember when I sent out the invitation flyers, we received a $1,000 check from Steeve. Later, he donated $3,000 as seed money to assist with fundraising efforts. Throughout the years, Steeve has supported multiple world-wide reunions and SPZP as a golden sponsor.
Health Care Fund
In June 2005, Steeve set-up a $50,000 Saya Health Care Fund administered by U Win Khaing of MES and his administrative committee. Many saya/sayamas attending today have benefited from that fund. Steeve Kay also helped to set-up a second fund, administered by the 64/65 intakes, as a supplemental retirement fund for the sayas and sayamas.
Kay Family Foundation
In May 2013, Kay Family Foundation, a philanthropic foundation set-up by Steeve Kay, sponsored the MoST (Ministry of Science and Technology) delegation to visit Centers of Excellence in California. The delegation was headed by the late Dr. Ko Ko Oo and Professor Nyi Hla Nge.
2015 Alumni Reunion in Los Angeles
Last year, in October 2015, Steeve Kay donated $30,000 in matched funds to hold the RIT in Southern California, Los Angeles. During the gathering, he sang a Burmese folk song ‘Shwe Me’ to express his feeling towards Myanmar, the land where he spent his youth growing up.
This year, Steeve Kay’s own health fell ill. We wish him good health. Instead of attending the RIT Grad Reunion himself, he asked Ko Benny to hold a gathering and Pu Zwe Pwe this year. Ko Benny consulted with his classmates and decided that December 28, 2016 – the day preceding the Seventh RIT Grand Reunion and Saya Pu Zaw Pwe – seemed to be the right time. The classmates, in turn, would like to honor their life-long friend and sponsor of numerous RIT-related activities.
History and Philanthropy of Steeve
The history of Steeve and his philanthropic work should be recorded and preserved for posterity.
Every saya and sayama will be presented with a gift package from Steeve. It will include:
- A short biography of Steeve
- The commemorative issue of the RIT Alumni Newsletter for SPZP-2000
- A two-set DVD of SPZP-2000
- A CD of photos and articles related to SPZP and RIT-related activities
- A monetary gift of K1 lakh for each saya and sayama, and an additional K1 lakh for sayagyis
Today’s event covers three parts:
- Paying respect to the sayas and sayamas who taught the Combined Intake of 64 and 65 students
- A mini-gathering of the Combined Intake of 64 and 65 students
- Appreciation award to be presented to Ko Thaung Sein (Steeve Kay, EC70)
Ko Khin Maung Lay will be the emcee.
Selected sayas and alumni will recall Steeve’s work and their importance and impact to the RIT community.