By Ruth Bruno
Central Connecticut State University recently received $6.5 million from philanthropist and calligrapher Huang Chang-Jen who passed away in 2012. The bequest is the largest CCSU has ever received.
“He was extremely philanthropic throughout his lifetime and a very generous individual,” said Chris Galligan, Vice President for Institutional Advancement at CCSU.
The Huang family determined how the money must be used. They originally planned that the resources would go directly into the existing C.J. Huang fund, but after meeting with President Jack Miller and Galligan the family gave their support in diversifying the way in which the funds would be used.
A portion of the $6.5 million will go to the C.J. Huang fund as originally planned, however, some of the money will be used to build a new student recreation center attached to Kaiser Hall. Additionally, three million of the total funds will be evenly split between the School of Business, the School of Graduate Studies and the School of Education & Professional Studies.
“We are deeply grateful and honored to receive this gift from Dr. Huang,” said Patty Root, Interim Dean of the CCSU School of Business. “This new fund will allow our AACSB accredited School of Business to create additional educational opportunities for our students. His generosity will allow more students to have greater access to high-quality business education.”
The money will be put directly into scholarship funds, which Galligan explains that scholarship is always a number one priority.
These schools were selected to receive the funds because they were most in need, noted Galligan, citing that the Carrol A. Ammon School of Arts and Sciences has received $8 million, while the School of Engineering and Technology has received over $5 million.
“Business, education and graduate studies certainly were in need of a multi-million dollar scholarship fund and now they have one,” said Galligan.
After discussing these plans, members of the Huang family were decidedly favorable towards them.
“They liked the approach,” said Galligan. “They liked the fact that they would impact many more students across campus. So we were glad they agreed to it.”
The individual departments who received the money will work with the Office of Institutional Advancement to determine the criteria students must meet to receive a scholarship.
“The C.J. Huang family has been a generous supporter of students in the School of Graduate Studies for many years,” said Glynis Fitzgerald, Dean of CCSU School of Graduate Studies. “This gift will allow their generosity to reach to other programs in the School of Graduate Studies benefiting an even greater number of graduate students.”