This article and video first appeared in KEZI.com on June 6, 2014.
EUGENE, Ore. — It’s not unusual for the University of Oregon to receive large donations from alumni, business owners or large corporations, but they don’t typically come from current students.
The EMU, considered the hub of campus, is under construction right now. The project is about to get a big boost in funding thanks to two international students who say they really want to invest in the future of their home away from home.
The two U of O students are each giving $25,000 to their school as a gift.
“It’s really exciting for me working in international affairs to see students from another country, from a big country, an important country, picking up our way of being a good citizen, being philanthropic,” said Dennis Galvan, Vice Provost for International Affairs at the University of Oregon.
There are 1,800 Chinese students at the U of O. One of those students is Xuewei Wang, the former president of the Chinese Students and Scholarships Association.
“I want to do something for my school,” Wang said.
She said she asked for what she explains as a loan from her parents, so she could give back to her school while she saw an opportunity. She said it’s chance for the Chinese community to make their mark on the heart of campus.
Yawei Zhang helped secure the two donations that will go to the EMU renovation project.
“The EMU is the new innovation right now. Everything is new,” Zhang said.
He says he hopes the endowment not only helps build up a structure but the perception of Chinese students in Eugene.
“They are trying to let people know that they are trying to do good things at school and they want to do some positive things to let local community know that the Chinese students here are very very helpful for the campus,” Zhang said.
“Thank you from the University of Oregon to our newest donors. Xièxiè,” Galvan said.
The second donation came in this week by Liao Ma. There will be plaques in both students’ honor when the building is finished.