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The Paul and Marcia Wythes Center on Contemporary China

A gift from the Wythes family has named the Center on Contemporary China, established in 2015, in honor of former trustee Paul Wythes of the Class of 1955 and his wife Marcia. The gift was made by Marcia Wythes W55 P86; Jennifer Wythes Vettel ’86, a member of the PIIRS advisory council; Paul Wythes, Jr.; and Linda Wythes Knoll.

The Center, located in Wallace Hall, is distinguished by its emphasis on a quantitative approach to social science research. It provides an institutional home for interdisciplinary collaboration and brings together faculty and students with expertise and interest in China.

Paul Wythes ’55 earned a BSE in mechanical engineering and an MBA from Stanford. He was the founding general partner of Sutter Hill Ventures and helped found the National Venture Capital Association, receiving a lifetime achievement award from that organization. He was also a member of the Princeton Board of Trustees for 14 years, serving as its vice chair. In 1997, he led a committee that explored long-term strategic issues facing the University. The resulting “Wythes Report” recommended that Princeton increase the undergraduate student body to 5,100 from 4,600 “to enhance the quality of the overall educational experience at Princeton and make more effective use of the University’s extraordinary resources.” Today’s student body stands at approximately 5,200.

The Wythes had previously created two professorships: the Paul M. Wythes ’55 P86 and Marcia R. Wythes P86 Professorship in Computer Science and the Paul M. Wythes ’55 Professorship in Engineering and Finance. Their gifts have also benefited the Benjamin H. Griswold III, Class of 1933, Center for Economic Policy Studies; the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions; the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies; the Princeton Varsity Club; a variety of scholarships; and several athletic programs.