Visiting scholars from around the world are a common sight on the campus of Princeton University. But with the Fung Forum, an international conference being hosted later this month in Berlin, Princeton is taking its own intellectual prestige overseas.
“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. 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,” said University President Christopher L. Eisgruber in 2012, the first year of the Fung Forum.
The forum is organized by the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and is being held as part of a $10 million donation by Princeton alumnus William Fung, Class of 1970. “In this new age of globalization, Princeton should be even more involved in fostering scholarship everywhere it takes place,” Fung said in 2012. “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.”
Fung, an engineering major, is managing director of Li & Fung Trading, a Hong Kong-headquartered business his grandfather founded. He is a Harvard MBA and co-author of a book called “Competing in a Flat World: Building Enterprises for a Borderless World.”
Previous Fung Forums focused on such lofty global topics as “The Future of the City” (Shanghai, 2013), “The Future of Higher Education,” (Paris, 2014) and “Modern Plagues,” Dublin, 2015.
The forum is not Fung’s only contribution to his alma mater. He has also funded scholarships, and his $10 million donation also funded the Fung Global Fellows program for six faculty members in the social sciences and humanities.