$10 Million Gift from Princeton University Trustee Will Fund Global Fellows Program

Billionaire William Fung of Hong Kong has donated $10 million to Princeton University to fund an annual international conference and a new program for visiting international faculty members.The Fung Global Fellows Program will bring six early-career international faculty members from the social sciences and the humanities to Princeton University for a year of research, writing and collaboration on a common theme. The program, which will begin in the fall of 2013, is being administered by the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies.

An annual academic conference abroad called the Princeton-Fung Global Forum also will be funded with the gift. The first forum is scheduled for this winter in Shanghai and is titled “The Future of the City.” Subsequent forums will take place in other locations around the world. The forum is being organized by the Council for International Teaching and Research.

President Shirley M. Tilghman said that Fung’s gift will strengthen Princeton’s capacity to be a global university.

“This gift, with its emphasis on bringing important new voices from abroad to Princeton, will enable us to establish stronger ties with scholars and centers of excellence around the world,” she said. “During their stay with us, these scholars will greatly enrich the discourse on our campus, introducing diverse perspectives and fueling collaborative ventures that will benefit us all. We are grateful to William Fung for his generous support of our efforts to develop a greater global consciousness.”

Provost Christopher Eisgruber said the international conferences will offer Princeton an opportunity to collaborate with scholars around the world on topics of multidisciplinary interest.

“We expect that the Princeton-Fung Global Forum will quickly become a signature intellectual event that attracts attention from academics and policymakers around the world,” he said. “It will showcase some of the best work done at Princeton and enhance the relationships between Princeton’s faculty members and their counterparts in other countries.”

Fung is group chairman of Li & Fung, a Hong Kong-based multinational group of export and retailing companies. The company, founded by Fung’s grandfather in 1906, is a world leader in consumer goods design, development, sourcing and distribution. It manages the supply chain for retailers and brands worldwide with more than 300 offices and distribution centers in some 40 countries.

A 1970 graduate of Princeton, Fung earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and his MBA from the Harvard Graduate School of Business. He then began his career at the family firm. He joined Princeton’s Board of Trustees in 2009, and has been a supporter of Princeton’s financial aid program.

“In this new age of globalization, Princeton should be even more involved in fostering scholarship everywhere it takes place,” Fung said in a press release about the new programs. “Through this gift, I hope to enable Princeton to become a stronger catalyst for developing new and exciting research and for creating international scholarly communities.”

The gift is part of the University’s $1.75 billion Aspire fundraising campaign.