Over the last 10 years, Charles and Lynn have donated over $15 million dollars to various charitable organizations. Our giving back page highlights some of those institutions that have benefited from their philanthropy.
Charles & Lynn Zhang Portage Community Senior Center
Charles’ and Lynn’s most recent philanthropic act continues an extensive history of giving back to the local community. With a plethora of baby boomers retiring in the near future, there was a clear need for an updated senior facility. The new Charles and Lynn Zhang Portage Community Senior Center has gone above and beyond expectations of any simple remodel. A completely new building with perfect location has revamped and revitalized the home base for many of Portage’s senior citizens.
Lynn Chen-Zhang spoke at a Portage city press conference, calling the new senior center the “living room” for the community. This new living room is open to all, and is quite the public hangout for local seniors. With over 32,000 square feet (over four times the size of the old facility) the new building features space for all sorts of activities. Rooms for pickleball, basketball, games and reading all highlight parts of the definitive upgrade in the Portage community, made possible in large part to the Zhang’s contribution. It is acts of generosity and kindness such as this that keep the Portage community moving forward, together.
Charles C. and Lynn L. Zhang Legacy Collections Center
Western Michigan University
Charles and Lynn give a considerable amount of donations to a place that is very near to their hearts. They both received a master’s degree from WMU and now they enjoy giving back both their time and their resources to their alma mater. Lynn serves on the Board of Trustees and is on the WMU Foundation Board of Directors and Charles has served as an adjunct professor in Finance at WMU. They have supported many of the University programs including the Haworth College of Business, Miller Auditorium's Zhang Financial Broadway in West Michigan Series, the Department of Economics, the Medallion Scholarship Program, and the Academically Talented Youth Program in the Lee Honors College.
One of their biggest donations to WMU is the Charles C. and Lynn L. Zhang Legacy Collections Center. This new building on Western’s campus was made possible by the generous donation of Charles and Lynn. The Zhang Legacy Collections Center houses the WMU Archives and Regional History Collections. The holdings total over 28,000 cubic feet, making the WMU Archives the largest facility of its type in southwestern Michigan and one of the largest in the state. The WMU Archives preserve WMU’s papers, files, and history. The Regional History Collections contain vital records, rolls, diaries, Civil War letters, newspaper archives, photographs, maps, and other historical materials from 12 Michigan counties. The new, state-of-the art building has achieved silver certification under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system. The facility includes a public area for researchers, genealogists, community members and students, a climate controlled storage area for the collections, and offices/workspaces for faculty and staff.
Facts about the Zhang Legacy Collections Center:
- 16,000 square foot building
- $8,612,499 total project cost
- Building is designed to be LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Silver
- 28 Geothermal wells are about 370 feet deep and heat and cool the building
- 57% of the buildings materials came from within a 500 mile radius of the project site
The Charles and Lynn Zhang Animal Care and Resource Center
The Kalamazoo Humane Society
Charles and Lynn Chen-Zhang generously volunteered as the principal donors for the new Kalamazoo Humane Society. The recently completed, brand new building comes equipped with state of the art medical procedure rooms for spay/neuter surgeries, an educational space and an adjoining memorial garden for pets that have passed away. The building is named The Charles & Lynn Zhang Animal Care & Resource Center in recognition of their donation.
For a little history on the progression of the project, see below:
The Kalamazoo Humane Society broke ground on its new animal care and resource center on Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. Lead donors Charles and Lynn Zhang contributed to the total $5 million budget for the facility that will include state-of-the-art medical procedure rooms for spay/neuter surgeries, educational space and an adjoining memorial garden for pets that have passed away. The building will be named The Charles & Lynn Zhang Animal Care & Resource Center in recognition of their donation. For Full Story>
The Kalamazoo Humane Society has raised about $5 million for the project, Winters said Thursday at the offices of Zhang Financial on Oakland Drive in Portage. Philanthropists Charles and Lynn Zhang were the principal donors and the building will be named in their honor. The building will sit on about 20 acres at River Street and the I-94 Business Loop in Comstock Township. For Full Story>
The Charles and Lynn Zhang Skylark Ridge
Binder Park Zoo
Charles and Lynn recently made a philanthropic donation to Battle Creek’s Binder Park Zoo in support of a team building and youth engagement project to create a ropes course attraction. The new structure will stand three stories tall and includes five zip lines that weave throughout the course. A smaller scale ropes course is also under construction and will be called the “Little Larks” course, specifically designed for younger visitors. The Zhang’s gift shows their commitment and passion for wildlife conservation and their local communities. The official name of the new attraction is “The Charles and Lynn Zhang SkyLark Ridge” and is set to finish construction summer of 2022.
Charles and Lynn Zhang Professorship of Economics, English & comparative Literature
As a continuation of their philanthropy, Charles and Lynn recently established two endowed professorships at Columbia University, one in Economics and one in English and Comparative Literature. Charles and Lynn have a long history of supporting educational institutions, especially those that have had, and to continue to have, a positive impact on their lives. Charles and Lynn both attended the Executive Education program at Columbia University. Their sons, Mitchell and Alex, both attended Columbia College of Columbia University. Mitchell earned a Bachelor of Arts degree cum laude in Economics. Alex received a Bachelor of Arts degree magna cum laude in Economics and Creative Writing.
Charles and Lynn Zhang Professorship of Economics
Through endowed professorships, Columbia is able to attract and retain the most influential thinkers in economics and finance. Economics professors at Columbia not only contribute their own research, they teach undergraduates and promising graduate students to become the next generation of leaders in this evolving field. Thus far, there have been seven Columbia University graduates who have gone on to receive the Nobel Prize in Economics. They are: Alvin E. Roth, Kenneth J. Arrow, Milton Friedman, Robert C. Merton, Robert W. Fogel, Simon S. Kuznets, and William Vickrey.
The Trustees of Columbia University have named José A. Scheinkman as the first Charles and Lynn Zhang Professor of Economics. Professor Scheinkman spent 26 years at the University of Chicago, rising from assistant professor to Alvin H. Baum Distinguished Service Professor and Chairman of the Department of Economics. He was also appointed the Theodore A. Wells ’29 Professor of Economics at Princeton University. Since 2013, he has served at Columbia as the Edwin W. Rickert Professor of Economics, a position he will relinquish for the honor of accepting the Zhang Professorship. In addition, from 2012 to 2015, Professor Scheinkman was the chair of the Economic Sciences section of the National Academy of Sciences.
Charles and Lynn Zhang Professorship of English and Comparative Literature
Professorships are essential to Columbia’s strength, encouraging the leading-edge scholarship and inspiring mentorship that have long distinguished the University. Thus far, there have been five professors who have received the Nobel Prize in Literature. They are: Orhan Pamuk(2006), Derek Walcott(1992), Gabriela Mistral(1945), Joseph Brodsky(1987), and Nadine Gordimer(1991).
Through the establishment of the Charles and Lynn Zhang Professorship of English and Comparative Literature, Columbia will remain home to one of the most promising, innovative, and expert scholars and educators in the field of American literature and culture. The Trustees of Columbia University have named Professor Branka Arsic′ as the inaugural Charles and Lynn Zhang Professor of English and Comparative Literature. Professor Arsić specializes in literatures of the 19th century America and their scientific, philosophical and religious contexts. She has taught at SUNY-Albany, Dartmouth, Cornell, and Brown. Since earning her PhD, Professor Arsic′ has solidified her reputation as a scholar of the highest order. Her work is distinguished by its academic rigor, scope, and originality; bringing a unique and fresh perspective to bear on classic American Literature. Her most recent book, Bird Relics: Grief and Vitalism in Thoreau (Harvard University Press, 2016), explores Thoreau’s relation to mourning practices and the natural world, examining ideas and assumptions that surround the work as much as the author himself. Professor Arsic′ is also the author of On Leaving: A Reading in Emerson (Harvard University Press 2010), a book on Herman Meleville, Passive Constitutions or 71/2 Times Bartleby (Stanford University Press, 2007), and many more.
Charles C. Zhang and Lynn L. Chen-Zhang Fellowship
Harvard Business School
Charles and Lynn Zhang have a long history of financial support for places that have played an important role in their lives. They have given locally and throughout the United States to educational institutions as well as numerous other non profits.
In keeping with their philanthropic history and as COUR (Committee on University Resources) Members for Harvard University, Charles and Lynn recently established the Charles C. Zhang and Lynn L. Chen-Zhang Fellowship. The fellowship was established to support students enrolled in the joint HBS and Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences MS/MBA program. Charles and Lynn are pleased to be a part of the community of fellowship donors whose support of financial aid at Harvard Business School enables the school to realize its mission of educating leaders who make a difference in the world.
Charles and Lynn Zhang Career Center
Haworth College of Business
Western Michigan University
Through their generous gift to the Zhang Career Center of Western Michigan’s Haworth College of Business, Charles and Lynn have invested in the next generation of visionary business leaders. The career center, a dedicated space within the college for business students to connect with career advisors and employers, provides tremendous value to the student body of the college of business through co-curricular professional development programs, as well as to the employer community seeking talent for their organizations. It offers a one-stop shop for all things career-related for both student and employer audiences. From broad and specialized career fairs to resume critiques to private interview suites, the center is known for its array of activities connecting talented students with hiring organizations.
As Dr. Kay Palan, Dean of the Haworth College of Business says, "We are extremely grateful for this gift, which will help students for years to come. The Zhangs recognize and understand completely that quality business education is a critical need. Their gift will go to support just that."
In March of 2019, the Zhang Career Center celebrated it's 10 year anniversary.
The Charles and Lynn Zhang Recruitment Lounge
Kellogg School of Management
As alums of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, both Charles and Lynn have a firm belief in, and commitment to Kellogg’s educational mission: to equip and inspire tomorrow’s leaders. Most recently, Charles and Lynn have financially provided support to Kellogg’s new Global Hub, a lounge designed to embody collaborative learning and foster energy and excitement. The Hub’s purpose is to educate, equip and inspire leaders who build strong organizations and wisely leverage the power of markets to create lasting value. Charles and Lynn are grateful for the foundation the Kellogg School of Management provided for them and are so pleased to be able to give back, as they have throughout their lives by supporting local and national organizations.
The Zhang Financial Room
Western Michigan University
Due to the generosity of Zhang Financial and Charles and Lynn Zhang, the 1903 Room in Western Michigan University’s Heritage Hall will be named The Zhang Financial Room. The room itself has a living room-like space that includes a 7-ton sandstone fireplace that was moved from North Hall. The plaque will read: “The Zhang Financial Room is dedicated by Charles C. Zhang and Lynn L. Chen-Zhang and Zhang Financial.” The room will, from now on, be referred to as the “Zhang Financial Room.”
The Charles C. Zhang and Lynn L. Chen-Zhang Lectureship Fund
The Charles C. Zhang and Lynn L. Chen-Zhang Lectureship Fund in the Department of Cardiac Surgery
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
This named Lectureship will be used to benefit ongoing education within the Section of Adult Cardiac Surgery by hosting an expert in Cardiac Surgery or related disciplines who will share his/her expertise. The Lecture allows for interaction between the visiting Professor and early career faculty members as well as students and learners to promote cross institutional relationships and increase understanding of treatment paradigms, all of which enhances the educational mission of the Department of Cardiac Surgery within in The Frankel Cardiovascular Center at Michigan Medicine.
Zhang Financial Student Professional Development Fund
Charles Zhang and Lynn Chen-Zhang, through a generous donation, has helped Kalamazoo College support key initiatives in its strategic plan through the establishment the Zhang Financial Student Professional Development Fund, a permanent endowment that will underwrite campus-based programs to enhance student experiences and prioritize their professional development. The fund will support career preparation programs offered through the Center for Career and Professional Development including on-campus activities, events and programing that better position Kalamazoo College graduates for their first job after graduation.
“We are grateful to Zhang Financial for this contribution, which will help Kalamazoo College continue to provide students with amazing opportunities to develop their skills, experiences and future careers,” Kalamazoo College President Jorge G. Gonzalez said. “We are excited and honored by their trust and confidence in our efforts to provide a broad-based education through the liberal arts and sciences.”
Charles and Lynn Zhang Scholarship
Academically Talented Youth Program
As alums of Western Michigan University, Charles and Lynn are supporters of many programs on WMU's campus. One of those programs is the Academically Talented Youth Program (ATYP).
Through a generous donation from Charles and Lynn, the ATYP program was able to establish the Charles and Lynn Zhang Scholarship. This scholarship will be available to any ATYP student who qualifies for free or reduced lunch and will cover the cost of all registration fees, books, and calculators required for the program.
In honor of ATYP's 40th anniversary, Lynn and Charles continued their support through an additional donation establishing the Charles C. and Lynn L. Chen-Zhang Academically Talented Youth Program Personnel Endowment. The endowment will support an ATYP coordinator position.
Charles and Lynn Zhang's Portage Building, 1302 W. Milham
Family & Children Services
Charles and Lynn Zhang called 1302 W. Milham, Portage MI, the home of Zhang Financial for 15 years, from 2000 through 2014. Due to the growth of their business, Charles and Lynn moved Zhang Financial to it's new location at 5931 Oakland Drive in 2015. In their continued wish to support and grow the community, Charles and Lynn generously donated the entire building at 1302 W. Milham to Family & Children Services for use as a counseling center.
The building was later sold and the proceeds were used to establish an endowment for Children's Counseling Services named the Charles C. and Lynn L. Zhang fund. Additionally, the boardroom in the Lake Street Counseling Center will be named in honor of Charles C. and Lynn L. Zhang.
WMed Catalyst Scholarship Program
WMed Catalyst Scholarship Program
In a recent effort to immediately impact the quality of life for Western Michigan University’s Medical School students, Charles and Lynn recently donated $100,000 to the Homer-Stryker School of Medicine’s newly established Catalyst Scholarship Program.
A $5,000 portion of the gift will provide one MD student a $2,500 scholarship in Spring 2022 and the same amount for Fall 2022. The rest will establish an endowment named in honor of the Zhangs to fund educational opportunities for medical students for decades to come.
“We hope our commitment might encourage others who might be thinking of ways that they can contribute to future generations taking the first step to becoming healthcare professionals,” the Zhangs said. “Seeing the impact of COVID in our community and across the nation put into perspective how vital it is to have leaders in medicine.”
Miller Auditorium - The Zhang Financial Broadway in West Michigan
Miller Auditorium - The Zhang Financial Broadway in West Michigan Series
Zhang Financial is committed to investing in the greater Kalamazoo community by supporting our local arts organizations such as Western Michigan University’s Miller Auditorium. Charles and Lynn have been supporting Miller Auditorium for many years, sponsoring some of the biggest shows and performers. Furthermore, Zhang Financial has been thrilled to be the presenting sponsor for the Broadway in West Michigan Series since its inception in 2018.
Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra
Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra
Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra serves the Kalamazoo and Southwest Michigan communities with a myriad of excellent programs and performances. Zhang Financial initially partnered with the KSO by being an underwriter of the KSO Pops series. Since then, Charles and Lynn have greatly expanded their support and are now the Presenting Sponsors for both the the KSO's regular season as well as the KSO's summer season.
Lynn also volunteers her time and has served as a member of the KSO Board of Directors for many years.
SPCA of Southwest Michigan
With an office that is full of animal lovers, it is no surprise that Zhang Financial is a big supporter of local organizations that protect and care for animals in need.
The SPCA is an organization supported by volunteers dedicated to rescuing homeless dogs, cats, puppies and kittens from Southwest Michigan pounds and adopting them into responsible homes. Zhang Financial has been very proud to be the Presenting Sponsor for their Annual Doggie Dash 5K Run which raises funds for their no-kill shelter. Sparky Zhang, aka Top Dog, has continued to inspire both people and pets alike for walking the longest distance on the shortest legs.
Ministry with Community
Charles and Lynn have an enthusiasm for helping those in need. They have volunteered their time and money to Ministry with Community, a non-profit organization that provides shelter, food, and help to adults and families in crisis.
As an organization, Zhang Financial has participated in the Sponsor-A-Meal program volunteering their time as a group to serve meals to the underserved. In addition, Zhang Financial has made donations to the annual event called Chefs Against Hunger and for many years was the lead sponsor for the event.
Zhang Financial supports Prevention Works - a local Kalamazoo organization that develops and implements programs that address substance use prevention, violence prevention, social emotional development, family life skills, parenting and adolescent health. They promote healthy messages, deliver presentations, develop prevention plans for schools. Through their efforts, they bring different sectors of the community together for collective impact, using strategies to address and prevent health issues facing our community.
Minimum investment requirement: $1,000,000 in Michigan, $2,000,000 outside of Michigan.
Investment Advice offered through Zhang Financial, a Fee-Only Wealth Management Group.