Ping Wang to become Seigle Family Professor and chair Department of Economics

Internationally renowned economist Ping Wang will be named inaugural holder of the Seigle Family Professorship in Arts & Sciences later this year. The new professorship was established by University Trustee member and alumnus Harry Seigle, who wished to honor his family, many of whom also are alumni.

In announcing the gift, Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton noted Seigle’s generosity.

“Harry Seigle is a great citizen of our University community and has been enormously generous in his support of programs, scholarships and facilities. Now he has added another major gift, this time for faculty support. We are extremely grateful for his significant contributions to Washington University and to its legacy,” Wrighton said.

Wang comes to Washington University from Vanderbilt University to chair the Department of Economics in Arts & Sciences.

“Ping Wang brings distinction and a broad-based background in economics to Washington University. We are delighted to attract someone of his stature to Arts & Sciences,” said Edward S. Macias, executive vice chancellor, dean of the faculty of Arts & Sciences, and the Barbara and David Thomas Distinguished Professor. “His experience in teaching, research, administration, and service to the discipline are exceptional assets for our department of economics.”

Wang received a bachelor’s degree in ocean transportation from the National Chao Tung University in Taiwan; two master’s degrees in economics, from National Chengchi University in Taiwan and the University of Rochester; and a doctoral degree, also from the University of Rochester. Among his areas of expertise are economic theory, macroeconomics, monetary economics, health and social economics, growth and development, and spatial economics.

While holding posts at Pennsylvania State University and later at Vanderbilt University, where he became a full professor in 1999 and chaired its economics department from 2002 – 2005, Wang served in many visiting capacities, including the research arm of the Federal Reserve Banks of Dallas and Atlanta. In addition, he has held visiting positions at Purdue University, the University of Rochester, the University of Washington, and Tilburg University in the Netherlands. From 2001 – 03, he was a visiting scholar at the International Monetary Fund Institute, and since 1994, at the Academia Sinica in Taiwan. Since 2001 he has served as a research associate for the National Bureau of Economic Research.

A prolific researcher, his work has been published widely in scholarly journals, including American Economic Review, International Economic Review, Journal of Monetary Economics, Journal of Economic Theory, Review of Economic Studies, and Review of Economics and Statistics. He has edited a book and has contributed to several others. Furthermore, Wang has refereed, or served on editorial boards, for a number of major academic journals. He is active in his field’s professional organizations and is a frequent presenter at conferences.

Seigle graduated from Washington University with an undergraduate degree in political science in 1968, which was followed by law school at Northwestern University. He practiced law until 1974 when he joined the family business, then known as Elgin Lumber Company and now as Seigle’s, Inc. Under his direction the company has become Chicago’s largest building material supplier to the residential construction industry, employing 1,240 individuals in 11 locations. The company is also an industry leader in carpentry subcontracting. Currently he serves as chairman. Seigle also runs the family’s foundation, which supports local not-for-profit organizations and scholarships for deserving students.

A dedicated and unflagging supporter of his alma mater, Seigle serves as a member of the Arts & Sciences National Council, and as founding chair of the Chicago Regional Cabinet. During the Campaign for Washington University, he chaired the Chicago Regional Campaign and served as national vice chair of the Regional Campaigns. The Chicago Regional Cabinet recognized him with the Chicago Regional Award in 2003.

Washington University is a family affair for the Seigles. He and his wife, Susan Gilbert Seigle, have three sons, two of whom are graduates in Arts & Sciences. Joe, a real estate developer, graduated earlier this year; Max, a news broadcaster, graduated in 2000. Seigle’s brother, Michael, also is an alumnus.

His contributions over the years include the Arts & Sciences Scholarship Program and the establishment of the Seigle Seminar in American Cultural Studies. In recognition of his support for facilities during the Campaign, the University named the Seigle Commons in the Village. He also received a Distinguished Alumni Award in 2003.