Former faculty member gifts Eastern Michigan University $1M

Gifts to expand civic education, language study programs

Jiu-Hwa Lo Upshur taught at Eastern Michigan University for 35 years. (Jiu-Hwa Lo Upshur)

YPSILANTI, Mich. – Former Eastern Michigan University professor of history and philosophy Jiu-Hwa Lo Upshur has donated three gifts to the university totaling $1 million.

Upshur’s gifts include $500,000 for an endowment for the Jiu-Hwa Lo Upshur Center for Civic Education, $300,000 for the Jiu-Hwa Lo Upshur Endowment for Supporting Language Study Abroad (“Upshur Flight Fund”) and $200,000 for the Expendable Fund for the Jiu-Hwa Lo Upshur Center for Civic Education.

Upshur taught at EMU for 35 years and valued international education, according to a release. Her expertise included Chinese history, political science, anthropology, art, and Mesoamerican culture.

“It is impossible to overstate Professor Upshur’s contributions to EMU as a dedicated teacher and productive, influential scholar during her many years as a faculty member,” Eastern Michigan University President James Smith said in a release. “The impact of her generosity is equally impossible to overstate.

“Civic education and language study are increasingly important competencies for our students, today and into the future, and these transformative gifts will ensure that the University’s footprint will continue to be significant.”

“The Upshur Center will provide sustained support for investigating innovative, effective approaches to civic education,” EMU’s Head of History & Philosophy Peter Higgins said in a release. “We could not be more excited to begin the Center’s work, or more grateful to Dr. Upshur. The skills and knowledge required for democratic citizenship, which are central to the Department of History & Philosophy’s programs, are increasingly vital.”

Born in China, Upshur later lived in India and Australia with her family and studied at the University of Sydney where she received a bachelor’s degree. In graduate school, she studied history and anthropology at the University of Michigan where she earned the school’s Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship and was the recipient of the Barbour Scholarship for graduate work.

She became a part-time lecturer at EMU, and upon completing her Ph.D. in 1972, became a full-time faculty member until her retirement in 2006.

She has authored numerous books, articles and reviews in her career.

About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.