By Janet Wang
Following a naming gift from the Ng family, the Humanities House was renamed Ng House in June. The Ng family are parents of current Stanford students who have otherwise chosen to keep their identity private.
According to Communications Manager Anneke Cole at the Office of Development, named gifts provide the financial resources necessary for scholarships, research and new facilities like the Humanities House. Donors usually direct their gift towards a specific cause. When they contribute an outstanding gift to a building, Stanford renames the building in recognition of the donor’s generosity.
At a dedication for the building, the Board of Trustees received the Ng’s gift on behalf of the University, and Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education Harry Elam gave a speech.
The Ng family communicated with Stanford for a year about renaming an undergraduate residence.
“[Humanities House] was the only undergraduate residence that had been built and wasn’t named,” said Senior Associate Vice President for Development David Kennedy, who attended the renaming ceremony. “So their interest wasn’t necessarily in the humanities – it was more naming an undergraduate residence, and it happened to be that building.”
Kennedy says that since the dorm was only recently built, the name change was inevitable. “Humanities House” was just a program description.
The Ng House provides students who enjoy the humanities with the opportunity to live together and explore their shared interests. Throughout the year, residents attend workshops, discussions, guest speaker events and student-led seminars that revolve around humanities topics of their choice.
Over the past year, students have generated some popular nicknames for the previously unnamed residence.
“People became really creative about abbreviations because Stanford just loves their abbreviations,” said Mirae Lee ’17, incoming Resident Assistant (RA) at the Humanities House. “A lot of people used ‘HumHo.’ Other people said ‘HuHou.’ Some people said ‘HuMan,’ which is a play on words because it’s in Manzanita Court.”
For Lee, the renaming helps to heighten Asian American representation.
“As an Asian American in the humanities and not having a lot of representation in the humanities, I’m really excited that the house is being named after an Asian or Asian American family,” she said.
Regardless of its name, future resident Christina Huber ’19 is excited to join the Ng residence because of its unique programming and opportunities to meet people.
Overall, Kennedy believes that the name change will not have a large impact on students and residents.
“The naming won’t change what goes on with the program,” he said. “It was only called the Humanities House for a year, so it’s not like a decades-long tradition.”
Contact Janet Wang at janet.wang.2012 ‘at’ gmail.com.