“My study abroad experience changed my life” is a sentiment often repeated by students who study internationally. Their experiences inform the way they see the world. Professor Jing Wang, mother of Candy R. Wei and Professor of Chinese Media and Cultural Studies at MIT, knows that this experience also changes the creative work that students make.
The new Candy R. Wei Prize for International Studies in Art and Design will provide financial awards to five Stamps Students each year in recognition of exemplary work influenced by their international experience.
This new gift significantly builds on the generous support Professor Wang has already provided to the Stamps School. Following the death of her daughter Candy in 2001, she established the Candy R. Wei International Travel Fund. Each year, this endowed fund supports the international experiences of eight to ten Stamps students.
“It was Candy’s dream to travel abroad to study art so the fund is a natural way to remember her and to help students fulfill their dreams of international study,” said Professor Wang about establishing the first fund.
As with all Stamps endowed funds, Professor Wang receives letters of appreciation from students, which she treasures. Some students even send artworks that reflect their adventures abroad.
To create this new award, Professor Wang took advantage of the Michigan Matching Initiative for Student Support. In addition, Professor Wang added to an already established planned gift that will provide support for the Candy R. Wei International Travel Fund and for the Candy R. Wei Prize in perpetuity.
As a mother who lost a daughter at age 21, Professor Wang is comforted by the impact her contributions are making on students’ international experience. “I feel Candy’s spirit is alive and going strong.”