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A Delegation from Taiwan Travels 7,000 Miles to Award UI Professor Honorary Degree

A Delegation from Taiwan Travels 7,000 Miles to Award UI Professor Honorary Degree
A distinguished delegation from Taiwan’s National Central University (NCU) visited the University of Iowa to present Professor Emerita Hualing Nieh Engle with an honorary doctorate in a ceremony held at the Levitt Center for University Advancement on Monday, September 16. The NCU delegation, which included NCU President Dr. Jing-Yang Jou, and Dr. Ping-Yu Hsu, Dean of the Office of International Affairs, traveled more than 7,000 miles from Zhongli City in Taiwan to Iowa City to honor Professor Emerita Engle, International Writing Program (IWP) co-founder, and herself the author of more than 20 books , under her Chinese name, Hualing Nieh. These include the novel, Mulberry and Peach: Two Women of China, a 1990 American Book Award winner.
This honorary hoctorate holds special significance for Professor Nieh Engle, who credits NCU as the place where she began writing in her final year of college, before graduating with a degree in English in 1948. NCU was then located in Nanjing, in mainland China. She left for Taiwan in the following year, then in 1964 came to Iowa City where she co-founded the IWP with her late husband, Paul Engle, former Iowa Writers’ Workshop director. Since 1967, the IWP has brought more than 1,400 writers to Iowa City from 140 countries and territories. Among the 34 writers currently in residence at the IWP are Taiwanese fiction writer and playwright Tong Wei-Ger, Chinese poet and fiction writer A Lai, Chinese writer and scholar Wang Jiaxin, and Hong Kong fiction writer and essayist Lee Chi-leung. These four writers were invited to attend the ceremony honoring Professor Nieh Engle.
Apart from winning her a 1990 American Book Award, Nieh Engle’s novels, essays, critical reviews, and translations have garnered numerous honors, including the Award for Distinguished Service to the Arts from the National Association of Governor.