A C I F I C L U T H E R A N U N I V E R S
I T Y
P R I N G 2 0 0 2
A grad's generous thank
you to PLU
$4 million gift to Pacific Lutheran
University to create the Wang Center for International Programs
will give university faculty, students and staff a bigger window
on the rest of the world. Peter Wang's generous gift to his alma
materone of the largest ever made to PLUis his way
of paying a dividend on an investment the university made in him
44 years ago.
That's when PLU gave Wang a full
scholarship to attend the university. In 1957, university administrators
took a chance on Wang, a newly arrived Chinese immigrant with
limited English skills. He didn't let them down. Wang says his
professors recognized his academic potential, encouraged him in
his studies and gave him hope.
Since graduating from PLU in 1960,
Wang, who majored in math and physics, has succeeded notably in
a number of diverse, challenging areas. He earned a doctorate
in probability theory, became a university professor and developed
probability theory-based threat forecasting methods for the Defense
Department. When Wang left academia in the 1980s, he started international
trading companies and successfully invested in real estate.
Wang's gift will establish an endowment
allowing the university to significantly strengthen its international
education program and provide more opportunities for students
to study abroad. When the Wang Center opens next year, it will
host public forums and sponsor research on international issues.
Although the center's initial focus will probably be on China
and the Pacific Rim, other important areas of the world such as
the Middle East could eventually be added.
Wang's gift is also timely. Too many
Americans have been oblivious to the concerns and deadly passions
that drive the rest of the world. But the events of Sept. 11 and
their aftermath show that Americans must come out of their shells
and develop a deeper understanding of the forces-both benign and
threatening-swirling beyond our borders.
The Wang Center will help deepen
that understanding both within the university and beyond the campus
in the larger community.