UHV to award honorary doctorate to Chinese executive

Bingxin Wu

A prominent Chinese entrepreneur will be awarded the first honorary doctorate ever given by the University of Houston-Victoria for his significant contributions to the university.

Bingxin Wu will receive a Doctor of Humane Letters during the UHV School of Business Administration commencement ceremony at 1 p.m. May 14 at Faith Family Church, 2002 E. Mockingbird Lane.

UHV has never given an honorary doctorate in its 43-year history. This is also the first Doctor of Humane Letters awarded at any UH System campus other than UH.

In 2013, Wu and his wife, Shuqin Feng, donated $600,000 to the UHV School of Business Administration. Their gift was the largest the school has received to date. The donation was used to create an international business center and has allowed 51 UHV students to study abroad in China.

"Chairman Wu has demonstrated his philanthropic commitment to public higher education in Texas through a substantial gift to UHV, which has expanded the international reach of our business school," UHV President Vic Morgan said. "He has been a great friend to our university, and we are thrilled that he and his family will be traveling to Victoria to accept this honor."

Wu is president and chairman of Sanzhu Group, a Chinese company involved in the health care, medical devices and ecological cosmetics industries. He also is the board chairman of Beijing Genetic Engineering Research Institute and Beijing Nuozhou Institute of Biology.

In addition, Wu is affiliated with several Chinese academic initiatives and has published two books about economics, "Consumption and Management: New Discovery and Applications" and "New Theory on Leadership Management Science."

"Chairman Wu's profound knowledge of business theories and practices has made him a productive scholar and successful business executive," said Farhang Niroomand, dean of the UHV School of Business Administration. "He is widely known in China for his leadership, intellect and generosity."

After being diagnosed with cancer, Wu retired from his job as an accountant at age 50 and created a pharmaceutical company for traditional medicine. Using products developed by his company, Wu regained his health. He went on to become one of the 50 wealthiest businessmen in China.

At the invitation of Jifu Wang, associate dean of the UHV School of Business Administration, Wu first visited UHV in 2008. He gave several lectures at UH Sugar Land and the UH System at Cinco Ranch, where UHV offers many programs, and came to Victoria to meet university administrators and watch a baseball game.

The visit set in motion UHV's summer abroad trips to China. Students have stayed at Wu's resort, attended his lectures and visited with representatives of his company.

"His donation has provided ample opportunities for our students to travel overseas and experience Chinese business practices and culture firsthand," Niroomand said. "The interaction with Chinese students and executives always is one of the highlights of the trip."

UHV also established the Wu-Feng Center for International Business. The center focuses on global education and international business.

Wu has served as the UHV School of Business Administration's executive in residence. His lectures have educated students, faculty and the general public about business issues reinforced by his own experiences as a businessman working to succeed in the newly emergent Chinese capitalist market.

"Chairman Wu is passionate about mentoring the next generation of entrepreneurs," Niroomand said. "Even while approaching his 80th birthday, he eagerly jumps in to teach students his ideas and concepts."

A Doctor of Humane Letters - an honorary degree in letters - is conferred upon scholars, inventors, artists, entrepreneurs and other leaders who have earned national or global reputations. UH System universities can nominate candidates for honorary degrees. The UH System Board of Regents approved Wu's honorary degree at its Feb. 18 meeting.

UH has awarded six honorary degrees since 2013, including one to Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale, a past speaker in the UHV School of Business Administration Distinguished Speaker Series.

Wu's award is part of a busy day of UHV commencement exercises on May 14. A 9 a.m. graduation ceremony will be for graduates of the schools of Arts & Sciences and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. Both commencement ceremonies also will include a keynote speech by Karen Garza, a UHV alumna and superintendent of Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia.

For more information about commencement, contact special events coordinator Nancy Moffett at 361-570-4351 or moffettn@uhv.edu.

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