Wang Family Gives $700,000 to GWU English Department

On behalf of the students and faculty of GW’s Department of English, I would like to thank the Wang family, whose generosity has resulted in the single largest gift our department has ever received. Creating a visiting professorship in contemporary literature and a series of annual lectures, this gift will change the department profoundly.

We are also pleased to announce that our first Wang Visiting Professor in Contemporary Literature will be Edward P. Jones, Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Known World. He will be in residence in the department during the spring semester of 2009. More information soon.

The official press release:

Wang Family Gives $1 Million to The George Washington University

A leadership commitment of $1 million to The George Washington University by Taiwanese businessman Albert Wang and his family will enhance the school’s English Literature program and create a permanent library collection focused specifically on the study of Taiwan.

“Education is an important foundation for a successful and rewarding life,” said Mr. Wang, whose father was a Taiwanese high school teacher. “It is an investment that I am privileged to make.”

Mr. Wang, whose two daughters attend GW, is the founder of Ever Rite Corporation, a manufacturer of women’s and children’s shoes for the U.S., European, and Asian markets.

“We are deeply appreciative of this generous gift by Mr. Wang, a loyal donor and friend of the university,” said GW President Steven Knapp. “As a scholar of English Literature, I am particularly excited about the opportunity to further strengthen the status of our Department of English. It is also an honor for this university to house the Taiwan Resource Center, the only specialized library collection of its kind in the United States.”

Mr. Wang’s gift represents one of the largest philanthropic commitments to the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of English. The gift will endow an annual series of lectures by prominent authors and scholars of English Literature and Literary Studies, as well as support a visiting professorship in Contemporary English Literature.

“This is a strategically pivotal time for the Department of English,” said Peg Barratt, Dean of the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences. “Having the opportunity to bring renowned literary figures to our campus and to our students nurtures literary research, and scholarship.”

Mr. Wang’s investments in GW’s Gelman Library to establish the Wang Taiwan Resource Center Endowed Fund will create a variety of initiatives including both curatorial work and the expansion of the special collection. “Students, and scholars from GW, the region, and the nation will benefit from the Wang family’s leadership,” said University Librarian Jack Siggins. “Their generosity will have strategic and permanent impact as we establish and nourish this important resource at GW.”

The Wang family’s philanthropy to GW also includes a $1 million gift made last year to the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration to fund a faculty chair and a fellowship for graduate students.

The English Department of GW’s Columbian College of Arts and Sciences has 400 undergraduate majors and an award winning faculty. It is nationally known for its strengths in both literature and creative writing.

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