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Harvard Asian Expert Addresses 'Rise of China and OWU' for Vogel Lecture


February 12, 2003

[ Ezra Vogel Photo ] DELAWARE, OHIO -- Twenty years ago, during his tenure as a Harvard professor, Ezra Vogel had the idea to endow a lecture series to honor his parents, Joseph and Edith, who founded the People's Store in Delaware, Ohio. Regarded as one of America's top Asian experts, he will once again return to Ohio Wesleyan to deliver the 19th annual Joseph and Edith Vogel Lecture on Thursday, Feb. 20, at 7:30 p.m. in the Benes Room of the Hamilton-Williams Campus Center.

His presentation, entitled "The Rise of China and Ohio Wesleyan," will aim to provide an overview of the rise of China since the opium war. He will focus on the phenomenal growth of China since 1978 while linking the story of China to the stories of several families with an Ohio Wesleyan and Delaware, Ohio connection.

After his graduation from Ohio Wesleyan in 1950, Vogel received a Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1958. He is currently the Henry Ford II Research Professor of Social Sciences at Harvard University, and has taught there from 1967-2000. A specialist in modern Japan and China, Vogel has visited East Asia every summer since 1958 and has spent a total of over six years in Asia. He has written extensively and his book, Japan as Number One, published in 1979, ranks in Japan as the all-time non-fiction best seller by a Western author. His most recent publication, Is Japan Still Number One? (2000), is a follow-up to his best seller. In addition, Vogel served from 1993-1995 as National Intelligence Officer for East Asia.

In 1992, Ohio Wesleyan awarded him a Distinguished Achievement Citation for "building bridges between the Far East and America, and with precognition, for many years has been advising Americans to learn from the Japanese." He frequently lectures in East Asia, in both Chinese and Japanese, and has received honorary degrees from Kwansei Gakuin (Japan) Chinese University (Hong Kong), Yamaguchi University (Japan), Universities of Maryland, Massachusetts (Lowell), Wittenberg, Bowling Green, and Albion.

Vogel, a native of Delaware, Ohio, established this lectureship in honor of his parents and wanted "to promote among Ohio Wesleyan faculty, staff and students, a better understanding of Delaware and the surrounding area." In addition to endowing this lecture series, he has served Ohio Wesleyan as an Alumni Trustee from 1970-75 and 1980-1983, and as a member of the Board of Trustees from 1985-1994.

For more information about the lecture, which is free and open to the public, call the Department of History at 740-368-3630.