Munro Fund for Chinese Thought Established at ACLS


I am very excited to announce and to celebrate the generosity of Manyul’s and my teacher at the University of Michigan, Don Munro. We should all be grateful for his continuing efforts to cultivate the field of Chinese thought!

The American Council of Learned Societies is pleased to announce the establishment of the Munro Fund for Chinese Thought. Proceeds of the fund, which was created through Donald J. Munro’s generous gifts to ACLS, will help support ACLS Fellowships awarded for research projects on Chinese philosophical traditions and ethical systems that exhibit high quality in sinology and in critical analysis, as well as relevance to human problems.

The Munro Fund can help fund awards in any ACLS fellowship program, except those supporting pre-doctoral study. A list of ACLS fellowship programs with links to information about each can be found at

Donald J. Munro is professor emeritus of philosophy and Chinese at the University of Michigan. He received his A.B. degree in philosophy from Harvard University and his Ph.D. degree in Chinese and Japanese, with work in the philosophy department, from Columbia University. As a graduate student, he studied with Aisin Gioro Yu in Taiwan and Tang Junyi in Hong Kong. He joined the faculty at the University of Michigan as an assistant professor in 1964 and retired in 1996 as professor of philosophy and of Chinese, and chair of the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures.

Munro has served the scholarly community at the national level on the National Research Council, the Advisory Screening Committee in Chinese Studies, the Committee on Scholarly Communication with the People’s Republic of China, and the ACLS Committee on the Studies of Chinese Civilization. He has won grants or fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, ACLS, the National Academy of Sciences (Scholarly Communication with the PRC), and the Guggenheim Foundation. In recent years he has been the Ch’ien Mu Lecturer in Chinese History and Culture (2006) and the Tang Junyi Visiting Professor (2009) at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He received the University of Michigan’s College of Literature, Science, and Arts Excellence in Teaching Award in 1992 and the Warner G. Rice Humanities Award in 1994. His publications include The Concept of Man in Early ChinaThe Concept of Man in Contemporary ChinaImages of Human Nature: A Song PortraitIndividualism and Holism: Studies in Confucian and Taoist Values (edited volume), Ethics in Action: Workable Guidelines for Private and Public Choices, The Imperial Style of Inquiry in Twentieth Century China, and Chinese Ethics for the New Century: the Ch’ien Mu Lectures in History and Culture and other Essays on Science and Confucian Ethics.

“Don Munro has been a leader of the study of Chinese philosophy in particular and in the field of China studies more generally,” said ACLS President Pauline Yu. “His broadly gauged work covers the span of Chinese intellectual history from the origins of Confucianism through Communism and into the twenty-first century. He connects venerable philosophical traditions to modern scientific discoveries, always with a concern for the ethics of human action. It is a tribute to his own ethical vision that he has generously given to help the next generation of scholars deepen our understanding of ideas that may have early roots but that are very much alive today.”

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