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June 18, 2008    

MEDIA CONTACT: Michelle Sherrard 
(202) 994-1423; mcs1@gwu.edu

THE GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY RECEIVES $1 MILLION TO ENHANCE ENGLISH LITERATURE PROGRAM AND TAIWAN RESOURCE CENTER

Gift from Albert Wang Family Will Make Taiwan Library Collection Permanent, Support Series of Lectures by Prominent English Literature Authors and Scholars, and Provide for Visiting Professorship in Contemporary English Literature

WASHINGTON - Taiwanese businessman Albert Wang and his family have committed $1 million to enhance The George Washington University's Columbian College of Arts and Sciences' English literature program and make permanent a special collection housed at Gelman Library focused specifically on the study of Taiwan.

"Education is an important foundation for a successful and rewarding life," said Wang, whose father was a high school teacher in Taiwan. "It is an investment that I am privileged to make." Wang, whose two daughters currently attend GW, is the founder of Ever Rite Corporation, a manufacturer of women's and children's shoes for the American, European, and Asian markets.

Wang's gift represents one of the largest philanthropic commitments to the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences' Department of English. The Wang Endowed Fund in English Literature and Literary Studies will support an annual series of lectures by prominent authors and scholars of English literature and literary studies. The Wang Visiting Professorship in Contemporary English Literature will fund 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."

The Wang Taiwan Resource Center Endowed Fund will support GW's Taiwan Resource Center, which was founded in 2004. This new investment will create a variety of initiatives including both curatorial work and expansion of the special collection.

University Librarian Jack Siggins, said, "Students and scholars from GW, the region, and the nation will benefit from the Wang family's leadership. Their generosity will have a 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.

"We are deeply grateful for the continuing generosity of Mr. Wang, a loyal donor and friend to the university," said GW President Steven Knapp. "As a professor of English literature myself, I am particularly pleased that he has chosen to include such an important contribution to the humanities in his philanthropy.  Also, the Wang family's new endowment in Taiwan studies will greatly enhance GW's Taiwan Resource Center."

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.

GW's Gelman Library houses more than two million volumes, 200 databases, and 22,000 electronic journals. As many as 10,000 patrons use its services on a daily basis. Emphasis is placed on acquiring and preserving materials for its general and special collections.

In the heart of the nation's capital, The George Washington University was created by an Act of Congress in 1821. Today, GW is the largest institution of higher education in Washington, D.C. The university offers comprehensive programs of undergraduate and graduate liberal arts study as well as degree programs in medicine, public health, law, engineering, education, business, and international affairs. Each year, GW enrolls a diverse population of undergraduate, graduate, and professional students from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and more than 130 countries.

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