2004 Beberman Award Winner: Jack Wills

The 2004 Max Beberman Distinguished Alumni Award was presented to John "Jack" Wills, a member of the Uni High Class of 1953. He earned a bachelor's degree in Philosophy (Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, High Honors) in 1956, earned a master's degree in East Asian Studies from Harvard University in 1967 and a Ph.D. in history and Far Eastern Languages from Harvard University in 1967. Wills is a professor of history at the University of Southern California, where he has taught since 1965. A specialist in Chinese history, he has written extensively on China's relations with maritime Europeans during the years between 1500 and 1800. His books include "Mountain of Fame: Portraits in Chinese History" (Princeton University Press, 1994) and "1688: A Global History" (W.W. Norton and Granta Press, 2001). The New York Times called his journey through 5,000 years of Chinese history in "Mountain" a "spirited and highly intelligent book." He helped to develop a general education program that included East Asian languages, cultures and history at USC and went on to serve as acting chair of the department of East Asian languages and cultures from 1987 to 1989 and director of the East Asian Studies Center from 1990 to 1994. He wrote Mountain of Fame: Portraits in Chinese History (Princeton University Press, 1994). The New York Times called his journey through 5,000 years of Chinese history a "spirited and highly intelligent book." Wills has donated $50,000 to help establish a graduate research assistantship program for the East Asian Studies Center at USC. At the time he made his gift, he said he hopes this seed money encourages others to pitch in, so that students can work one-on-one with major scholars in their field of study.

Congratulations Mr. Wills, the 2004 Max Beberman Distinguished Alumni Award recipient.

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