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THE BIRTH OF THE FU FOUNDATION

INTRODUCTORY REMARKS AT THE CONFERRAL OF AWARDS FOR THE FIRST BIENNIAL CHARLES WEI-HSUN FU FOUNDATION ESSAY CONTEST, HELD IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR CHINESE PHILOSOPHY
-- Fo Guang University, Taiwan, July, 1999

Many of you were friends or students of Dr. Fu. Others have read his works; some may be unfamiliar with him. In any case, it may be of interest to relate some background on the "birth" of the Fu Foundation at the 10th ISCP conference held in Korea in July of 1997, nine months after the death of Dr. Fu. My initial thought for memorializing Charles was to arrange for publication of all his works in both English and Chinese, thereby preserving a permanent record of his scholarly output Then I began to think of his equal contribution to ongoing scholarship, especially by encouraging young scholars. Dr. Fu espoused a diverse combination of ideals:

Zhuang Zi's True Person possessing "no-self," "no-merit," and "no-name"
The Confucian sage, active in promoting the worthy the compassionate Bodhisattva of Buddhism.

As Professor Li Kuen Tong recalls, these thoughts led to a proposal for a biennial joint ISCP/Fu Foundation essay contest for young scholars, which was graciously accepted by ISCP. Initially three language categories were set forth:

  1. Chinese
  2. Japanese or Korean
  3. English

The winning author in each category was to receive a $2000 award, plus airfare to the ISCP conference. Later a fourth category was proposed and funded by a close friend of Dr. (also a member of the Fu Foundation Board of Directors), recognizing submissions by Taiwanese scholars. A blind reviewing process was implemented, with separate panels of reviewers drawn from the ISCP membership. The essays were judged on three criteria, reflecting the priorities of Dr. Fu himself:

  • creativity
  • coherence
  • scholarship

It became clear that a more formal organization was required, which led to incorporation as a non- profit, tax-exempt, educational foundation recognized by the U.S. government. This includes a yearly budget and a Board of Directors, comprised of the very supportive Fu family members, with myself as President. After two years of arranging the legal details we have arrived at our present status, which would have been impossible without the continuing cooperation of Dr. Fu's friends and students internationally.

GOAL: a permanent, financially independent private foundation

MISSION:

  1. To promote and disseminate the works of Dr. Charles Wei-hsun Fu
  2. The support the research of students and scholars in the field of Asian philosophy, especially Chinese philosophy
  3. To encourage exploration of Life-and-Death Studies (reflecting Dr. Fu's intended roles as Director of the Life and Death Institute at Fo Guang University)
  4. To address important social issues espoused by Dr. Fu, such as environmentalism, animals rights, etc.

EXISTING PROJECTS:

  • the ongoing Essay Contest in conjunction with ISCP; next awards in 2001
  • a yearly scholarship through Phi Beta Delta, an international honor society,
    for students of Asian thought and culture at San Diego State University (where Dr. Fu was an adjunct Professor of Asian Studies)
  • yearly support for non-profit organizations

PENDING PROJECTS:

  • publication of Dr. Fu's complete works in Chinese and English, totaling some 20- 30 volumes, including previously unpublished works (such as a lengthy history of Chinese philosophy and his philosophical correspondence)
  • a series of memorial volumes consisting of essays contributed by Dr. Fu's friends and students
  • support for publication of important works on Asian philosophy by other scholars, in various languages

LONG TERM PROJECT:

  • establishment of a guest house for visiting scholars and their families in San Diego, California

The Fu Foundation welcomes suggestions for other projects in keeping with its mission. We are also interested in any contributions you may have for the Charles Wei-hsun Fu Archives, in the form of letters from Dr. Fu, audio or tapes of his lectures, and so on.

Sandra A. Wawrytko-Fu, Ph.D.
President


THE FIELD-BEING FORUM, 2000

The Charles Wei-hsun Fu Foundation was conceived at the 10th ISCP conference held in Korea in July of 1997, nine months after the death of Dr. Fu. My initial thought for memorializing my husband was to arrange for publication of all his works in both English and Chinese, thereby preserving a permanent record of his scholarly output While at the conference, among so many of our colleagues, I was reminded of his heartfelt encouragement for the work of others, especially young scholars. Indeed, Dr. Fu espoused a diverse combination of ideals: Zhuang Zi's True Person possessing "no-self," "no-merit," and "no-name"; The Confucian sage, active in promoting the worthy; the compassionate Bodhisattva of Buddhism. These thoughts led to a proposal for a joint ISCP/Fu Foundation essay contest for young scholars.

It became clear that a more formal organization was required, which led to incorporation as a non-profit, tax-exempt, educational foundation recognized by the U.S. government. This includes a yearly budget and a Board of Directors, comprised of the very supportive Fu family members, with myself as President. Arranging the legal and bureaucratic details took some two years, none of which would have been possible without the continuing cooperation of Dr. Fu's friends and students internationally.

Our goal is a permanent, financially independent private foundation, with a mission reflective of Charles' own multi-facted interests:

  1. to carry on and disseminate the scholarly work of Dr. Charles Wei-hsun Fu
  2. to support the research of students and scholars in the field of Asian philosophy, especially Chinese philosophy
  3. to encourage academic research and popular education in the field of life and death studies internationally
  4. to support projects aimed at the protection of other animal species and the environment, from the global village to the rain forest

Existing projects include gradual publication of the COLLECTED WORKS, some 20 to 30 volumes, in both English and Chinese. A contract for the Chinese version has been signed Hung Yeh Publishing Company in Taipei. The first volume, a Chinese translation of Contemporary Ethical Autonomism: A Critical Study of Sartre and Hare, Charles' 1969 dissertation, should go to press later this year. Other ongoing projects are:

  • THE FU FOUNDATION-ISCP ESSAY CONTEST¡ªfour $2000 awards offered in conjunction with biennial conference of the International Society for Chinese Philosophy, plus airfare
  • THE FU FOUNDATION-IIFB ESSAY CONTEST¡ªtwo $1000 awards in conjunction with the yearly conference of the International Institute for Field Being, plus airfare
  • THE FU FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIP AT FIU¡ªtwo yearly travel grants of $1000 to Asia for students of Florida International University
  • THE FU SCHOLAR AT SDSU¡ªa yearly $1000 scholarship to an outstanding student of Asian Thought and Culture at San Diego State University, in conjunction with Phi Beta Delta international honor society

Continuing funding is provided for a variety of non-profit organizations who emphasis aspects of the Fu Foundation mission:

  • the Creative Arts & Communications Institute
  • the Ecological Life Systems Institute, Inc
  • the Helen Woodward Animal Center
  • the International Society for Philosophy and Psychotherapy (ISPP)
  • the Zoological Society of San Diego

Among our pending projects is a series of memorial volumes consisting of essays contributed by Dr. Fu's friends and students, followed by support for publication of important works on Asian philosophy by other scholars, in various languages. Long term projects also are in the works, such as establishment of an international guest house for visiting scholars and their families in San Diego, California.

The Fu Foundation welcomes suggestions for other projects in keeping with its mission. We are also interested in any contributions you may have for the Charles Wei-hsun Fu Archives, in the form of letters from Dr. Fu, audio or tapes of his lectures, and especially personal anecdotes.

Sandra A. Wawrytko-Fu, Ph.D.