Dr. Matthew Lin has traveled the world on missions of medicinal mercy, but his newly developed penchant for taking long, local walks with his wife, Joy, recently benefitted The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, which is less than a mile from his San Marino home.
Lin – a recently retired orthopedic surgeon – made a $3 million donation to The Huntington to help complete Phase II of its renowned Chinese Garden and was honored last Thursday at a reception in the institution’s Stewart Smith Board Room.
Lin has twice climbed, but not summited, Mt. Everest and has circled the globe on self-funded disaster relief efforts which include earthquakes in Bolivia, El Salvador, Taiwan, Nepal and Haiti, among others, and the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004. He has also made five trips to Africa to provide free medical assistance. But his support of The Huntington has more local roots.
“Joy and I take walks at The Huntington almost every day,” Lin said. “Sometimes, twice. We go early in the morning and often we come back in the afternoon.”
For photos from the reception, visit sanmarinophotos.com
A former two-term San Marino City Council Member and Mayor, Lin came to the United States in 1973 with $300 in his pocket (a gift from his late mother), “one piece of luggage and a few boxes of instant noodles,” he told The Tribune. During one of their Huntington walks, the Lins decided to give $3 million.
“Joy and I talked about it one day,” he said. “The Huntington is in San Marino and it’s a gift we want to give.”
And one The Huntington is more than pleased to accept.
Randy Shulman, The Huntington’s Vice President for Advancement, attended last Thursday’s reception.
“It was a lovely moment to acknowledge Matthew and Joy’s commitment to helping us complete the second phase of the Chinese Garden,” Shulman told The Tribune. “It was also a special time to bring family and friends together. The entire Lin Family was there as were several current and former San Marino Mayors and City Council Members. Matthew didn’t miss a beat in his comments, saying that he and Joy hoped to inspire others to give to the project and build the finest Chinese Garden in the world.”
As for the Lins, you can catch them walking.
“Exercise is very important,” Dr. Lin added.
Phase II of the Chinese Garden will include additional pavilions, an art gallery and a display of miniature landscapes. A boat pavilion, stage and courtyard, and rockery have already been constructed.