Top Pacific Gives Ambassador a Champion for CIP

Kuy '92 and Monie '98 Ky

Kuy '92 and Monie '98 Ky

The Community Involvement Program instilled in Kuy Ky ’92 a lifelong commitment to serving his Pacific and Stockton communities.

Ky is a dentist who volunteers with local mobile dental clinics. He is a past president and nearly 30-year member of the Rotary Club of Stockton. He funds a scholarship at Pacific for CIP Scholars, and last July, he joined the Pacific Alumni Association Board of Directors.

Ky was also this year’s top Pacific Gives Ambassador, securing 215 donors for CIP.

“Since I’m new to the alumni board, I really wanted to accomplish something. I wanted to make my presence felt,” he said.

And accomplish something, he did. During Pacific Gives CIP raised nearly $30,000 from more than 400 donors. Over half were personally recruited by Ky.

“I invited people to support CIP because the program meant so much to me from my youth, and I wanted to impact other kids who cannot afford a higher education,” Ky said. “It really touched my heart that my community made it happen.”

Ky was born in Cambodia. His family came to the U.S. as refugees, escaping Cambodia’s brutal Khmer Rouge regime when Ky was just nine years old. He began the fifth grade knowing no English, but went on to graduate from Stagg High School and enrolled at San Joaquin Delta College, where he learned about Pacific and CIP. He later transferred to Pacific and earned a degree in biological sciences.

Ky’s interest in dentistry was sparked in high school by a family connection, a local dentist who allowed Ky to apprentice in his practice for a small amount of money. Ky completed dental school at USC in 1996, and afterward, returned to practice in Stockton.

“CIP always wants you to come back. They ask, when you receive this scholarship, how will you use it to support this community?” Ky explained.

“I took an oath to that, and always held it close to my heart, that I would come back to the community that nurtured me well from my fragile youth. Pacific Gives proves that my oath is still with me.”

Ky’s deep love for CIP fueled his Ambassador effort. He cast a wide net, inviting donations from former mentees, members of his dental community and Rotarians worldwide, among others. Gifts came from as far away as Washington, Maryland, Hawaii and Japan, in a response that Ky described as “a rambunctious snowball effect.”

Allison Dumas ’95, associate vice president for community engagement and enrollment strategy and a longtime director of CIP, hails Ky as a success story, praising his trajectory of leadership and service.

“I’m very proud of Kuy. There was never any doubt that he would succeed, but the depth of his impact is really inspiring, and he continues to impact people,” Dumas said. “It’s really a privilege to watch his journey. He’s so generous and such a good person.”

In 2018 Ky and his wife Monie Ky ’98 established the Dr. Kuy and Monie Ky Endowed CIP Scholarship at Pacific. They are active alumni who rarely miss CIP or Pacific Alumni Association events.

The Kys’ oldest son, Dean Ky ’21, earned a biological sciences degree from Pacific and will graduate from the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry in June. Son Benjamin attends Stanford University, studying aerospace aeronautic engineering and medicine. Daughter Meagan Ky ’26 is pursuing biological sciences and pre-dentistry at Pacific, and youngest daughter Alison is a high school senior who will join Pacific’s pre-dental program in the fall.

Kuy Ky lives every day filled with gratitude for all that Pacific and CIP have afforded him. He draws inspiration from the late Clifford Dochterman, a former Pacific administrator and past Rotary International president, who once said, “Real happiness is helping others.”

And Ky remains motivated to give back, hoping his contributions will help others receive the same opportunities he did. Asked what excites him about the gifts he solicited and how they will help students, Ky said simply, “A degree from Pacific will set you free.”