Nguyễn, Đình Hoà (1924-2000) | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center
Dinh Hoa Nguyen was born in 1924 in Hanoi, Vietnam, where he studied before travelling to the United States of America to earn a bachelor's degree and a master's degree from New York University. Following the completion of his studies in North America, Nguyen returned to Vietnam where he was a professor at universities in the cities of Da Lat, Hue, and Saigon. In 1966, Nguyen returned to America, first as a professor at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington, and then to work as a cultural attaché in the South Vietnamese Embassy in Washington D.C., the latter of which he maintained until being appointed the director of Southern Illinois University Carbondale's Center for Vietnamese Studies in 1969 by the university's president, Delyte Morris. Nguyen's diplomatic background, among other factors, made the Center for Vietnamese Studies a point of contention between administration and students on campus. On October 1, 1974, as is documented in the 1974-1975 Annual Report of the Board of Trustees, Nguyen officially transitioned from his position in the Center of Vietnamese Studies to a position as a tenured professor in the Department of Linguistics.
Nguyen is also well-known for his work as an author of various books and textbooks related to language. Many of his primers, including Speak Vietnamese and Read Vietnamese, utilize his experience as a teacher of language to teach their readers how to understand and use Vietnamese in their daily practice. His other pieces include a Vietnamese-English Dictionary, the Vietnamese-English Student Dictionary, and a compendium cataloguing the history of Vietnamese literature, Vietnamese Literature: An Anthology, as well as a personal memoir, From the City Inside the Red River: A Cultural Memoir of Mid-Century Vietnam.
Upon retirement, Nguyen left southern Illinois for Mountain View, California, where he continued his work as a writer. Dinh Hoa Nguyen passed away on December 10, 2000.
Vietnam Studies Group -