Philanthropists Give $5 Million for Chinese­-History Center

A new center for the study of ancient Chinese civilizations is being established with a $5 million endowment gift from Oscar Tang, a private investor and philanthropist, and his wife, Agnes Hsu­-Tang, an archaeologist, a cultural­-policy adviser to UNESCO, and host of the award­-winning documentary series Mysteries of China on History Channel Asia.

The Tang Center for Early China, to be housed within the East Asian languages and cultures department in Kent Hall, will be officially inaugurated in September. Li Feng, a Columbia professor of East Asian languages and cultures, will serve as its first director.

The center’s mission is to promote awareness of China’s early history through new education, research, and publishing endeavors. Specifically, it will sponsor an early­-China lecture series; an annual lecture in archaeology; academic workshops and conferences; and a monograph series for academic titles that break new ground in the field of early-­China studies. The center will also offer fellowships for visiting scholars and research grants for doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows.