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Dr. Vinh Chung, Vietnamese refugee and author, selected to speak at 2015 Free Enterprise Dinner

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March 26, 2015

Dr. Vinh Chung, Vietnamese refugee and author of the memoir Where the Wind Leads, will be the featured speaker at University of the Southwest’s annual Free Enterprise Dinner.

Sponsored by the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation, the dinner will begin at 6:00 p.m., April 25, in the Jack & Mabel Maddox Student Life Center on the University of the Southwest campus. The dinner’s purpose is to celebrate initiative and citizens’ rights to participate in the productive commerce of free enterprise. The dinner hosts speakers who represent the ideals and values of the late Texas Legislator Hatton W. Sumners (1875-1962), so they may share their insights and business practices with the community.

Vinh Chung was just 3 years old when his family fled post-war Vietnam by boat in 1979. When they landed on a Malaysian beach, they were turned away by soldiers, towed back out to sea, and left to die on a leaky boat with no working motor.  After nearly a week adrift with little food or drinkable water, they were rescued by a freighter called Seasweep, along with 92 other people.  Eventually, a church in Fort Smith, AK, with a vibrant ministry for Vietnamese refugees, sponsored the family and helped them relocate to the United States.

Starting over with nothing, Chung excelled in school, becoming an all-state football player and valedictorian of his class. He attended Harvard University, where he studied biology. He later earned a master’s degree in theology from the University of Edinburgh as well as a medical degree from Harvard Medical School. He also studied as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Sydney.

Today, Chung is a board-certified dermatologist and specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer. He runs a large medical practice in Colorado Springs, CO. Chung is currently a member the board of directors at World Vision, US.  His memoir, Where the Wind Leads, was released by Thomas Nelson publishers in April 2014.  A limited number of Chung’s book will be on sale at the dinner and he will be available after his presentation for a book signing.

In addition to Chung’s keynote address, the Free Enterprise Dinner will award the “Trustees of Free Enterprise” to Hobbs residents, Dr. Lynn and Nancy Shaw.  Dr. Lynn Shaw was born and raised in Hobbs, NM, graduating from Hobbs High School in 1966. He subsequently obtained degrees from Abilene Christian University and Baylor College of Dentistry. 

            Nancy Boughner Shaw grew up in Dallas and Houston, TX, graduating from Memorial High School in 1967.  She then attended SMU, and after graduating in 1971 with a degree in Speech Pathology, she met Lynn while working at Steak ‘N Ale the summer before her first professional employment in Plano, TX. They were married in March, 1972.  The Shaws moved to Hobbs in July of 1973, where Lynn began practicing dentistry and Nancy taught special education students at Mills Elementary School. 

           Lynn has worked with United Blood Services, has served the Emmaus Community, and was the speaker for a recent Lea County Community Prayer Breakfast. He is currently a member of the J. F Maddox Scholarship selection committee and continues to lead a bible study group in their home that has been active for six years.

            Nancy worked in the financial operations of her husband’s dental practice for 28 years.  She has spent many volunteer hours in service to the community through the Junior Service League, the Hospice Board of Directors, the Southwest Symphony Board, and the Board of Trustees at USW. She has served the Palmer Drug Abuse Program with her board membership since 1987 and is the current chairwoman. She is a former member of the Hobbs Literary Club and is an active member of the PEO Sisterhood. She received the Governor’s Award for Outstanding New Mexico Women in 1991 for her work in HIV/AIDS education in the state of NM. Her book, Blood Brothers: Ryan, Chris, and Hemophilia was published in 1989 as a tribute to the lives of her son and her nephew.

The “Trustee of Free Enterprise” award is University of the Southwest’s most distinguished award and is given for outstanding business achievements, for an established reputation for conducting responsible and ethical business practices, for community leadership, and for investment of time and resources toward the preservation of a free society.

Sponsorships for the event are available at different levels and include designated tables for the dinner and recognition in the event program. Individual tickets are $50 and student sponsored tickets are $25.  For more information, contact Laurie Dean, director of development operations & marketing, at 575-492-2108, or by email at ldean@usw.edu.