“My fondness for the Libraries stems from the fact that they are the hub of the campus and touch each student, faculty member, and alum in some way.”
– Candice Wang Willoughby
Candice Wang Willoughby, C’97, began to give back to Penn early by creating a Young Alumni Scholarship eight years after graduation. She and her husband Robert haven’t stopped since, focusing largely on financial aid and Penn Libraries, particularly in the area of Chinese Studies.
The couple established the PKQ Willoughby Endowed Collection for Chinese Studies in 2011. It was this Collection that fostered their collaboration with Chinese Studies Librarian Brian Vivier, who made the case for a travel fund that would support research by Penn faculty and staff. Plans are already underway as a result of the Willoughbys’ generosity. “Brian will now be able to make an important return trip to the Fujian Province of the Republic of China,” Candice says. “This will enable him to acquire new materials on behalf of the Libraries, attend a week-long workshop on film and television hosted by the National Library of China, and meet with Penn students conducting research in the area.”
Family has often been an inspiration for the couple’s philanthropic efforts, in the tradition they started with the PKQ Collection, named after their daughters Penny, Kirby, and Quinn. The Wang Kang Fu Mei Travel Fund is named after Candice’s mother in recognition of all that she has done, and particularly the guidance she provided during Candice’s education at Penn and beyond. “Throughout the course of my life, my mother has advised me on key decisions. One of the most important ones was steering me towards a job on Wall Street that has enabled me to support Penn in a meaningful way.”
Candice has been a member of the Trustees’ Council of Penn Women (TCPW) since 2006, where she currently serves as co-chair of the New York region, and recently expanded her engagement with the Libraries by accepting the position of co-chair of the Orrery Society. She believes passionately that the Penn experience does not end with graduation, but rather continues to evolve throughout different stages of life. She finds that her time as a student continues to pay dividends in many ways, including “the remarkable education I received, the incredible friends I made, and the expansive professional network I use every day.”