U-M Museum of Art receives $1 million for Chinese gallery in new addition

May 12, 2006
  • umichnews@umich.edu

ANN ARBOR—The University of Michigan Museum announced that it has received a $1 million pledge from Dr. Cheng-Yang Chang in honor of his recently deceased wife, Shirley, to be recognized in the naming of The Shirley Chang Gallery of Chinese Art in the museum’s new addition.

In addition, Dr. Chang gifted to the museum more than 30 traditional Chinese paintings by his father, noted artist Ku-Nien Chang. Together these gifts recognize and build on the strengths of UMMA’s holdings in Chinese art, widely considered to be among the strongest in university hands anywhere in the United States.

A retired urologist and current Ann Arbor resident, Dr. Chang practiced in Flint, Michigan. He graduated with his medical degree from the National Defense Medical Center in Taipei, Taiwan, and completed his residency in urology at the U-M Medical School in 1967. A strong supporter of the University, Dr. Chang has made gifts in the past to the U-M Medical School, Business School, and the Museum of Art, among other units. The Chang Foundation, established in 1987 in honor of Dr. Chang’s father, has funded more than 100 scholarships for art students in Taiwan.

Shirley Chang, who died in January of this year, was a graduate of U-M (M.B.A., 1966, and M.P.H., 1975). She taught accounting and statistics in Taipei and Flint and served for many years as the office manager for her husband’s practice. An accomplished musician, she played the Chinese long zither and Chinese hammered dulcimer and coordinated the Ann Arbor Chinese chamber orchestra Heavenly Chord. She also organized two exhibitions of traditional Chinese arts from Taiwan to promote cultural exchange. The Changs, who married in 1964, have two children and six grandchildren. Their sons are also U-M alumni: Hamilton Chang graduated from the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, (BGS, 1989), while Theodore Chang graduated with a medical degree in 1991 and completed his residency at Michigan in 1996.

“In funding UMMA’s Chinese gallery, I honor my wife’s lifelong appreciation and sharing of the arts,”