Bridges For A New Century
The theme of the Wang Center’s major China symposium was building bridges, but founder Peter Wang also sees the mission as opening gates and windows. “We open gates to your heart and windows to see outside,” said Wang ’60. “Once you are willing to open your heart, once you are willing to see, then can the work begin toward a more peaceful world.”
The inaugural Wang symposium drew 700 people from the Asian, business, academic and other communities interested in the top-notch speakers and compelling topics at the downtown Tacoma Sheraton. It represents another major step in the development of PLU as a globally-focused university that engages every student in the task of understanding the diverse, wonderful and sometimes difficult world.
“This symposium symbolizes our commitment to educate global citizens and peace builders, and to offer PLU to this community and region as a place where global issues are studied and discussed,” PLU President Loren J. Anderson said.
Peter Wang was overwhelmed by the response to the symposium from people both inside and outside of PLU. “It’s the most gratifying experience of my life,” said Wang, who with his wife, Grace, donated $4 million to start the Wang Center for International Programs. “I have never seen so much energy from our faculty, our staff and our students.”
A goal of China: Bridges for a New Century was to bring together people from different sectors of both nations to find similarities and work together. Speakers say that is key to healthy relationships. “We need to know each other. We need to know each other more,” said Ambassador Wang Yunxiang, consulate general of the People’s Republic of China, who is based in San Francisco. “Both the United States and China are very important and great nations in the world.”