Chu Multicultural Collection Helps All StudentsPicture of Felix and Nancy Chu sitting at a table holding books

In 2010, Felix and Nancy Chu made a commitment to WIU to help educate students on social issues and the immigrant experience. They chose to do this through the use of fiction. In their own words, “People tend to remember stories more than facts. Fiction is one of the easiest ways to learn about and understand complex social issues.”

Dr. Felix Chu and his wife, Nancy Chu, chose to create a fund for a multicultural book collection in 2010. Felix, himself an immigrant who came to the United States at the age of 15, is a former Associate Dean of Libraries, having retired in May of 2014. Nancy, a retired professor from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, taught children’s literature and storytelling classes. This collection allowed them to combine their interest, expertise and passion for social issues.

The Chu Multicultural Collection focuses on works of fiction that include themes of cultural, ethnic and racial issues, especially those focused on the immigrant experience. This spring, WIU Libraries purchased over 60 books with the Chus' fund. The list of titles can be found here: and can be checked out from Malpass Library at any time. The winner of the Bellwether Prize for Fiction, which recognizes serious literary fiction that addresses issues of social justice and the impact of culture and politics on human relationships, will be added to the collection each year as it is awarded. The fund will also be used to purchase some children’s fiction that focus on these issues as well.

Having spent his first 12 years in Taiwan and three in Argentina before immigrating to the US, Felix is uniquely aware of how individuals from varying cultures view things differently. He hopes this collection will help people see things from a different vantage point. Nancy agrees, stating “Fiction gets to the human side that sometimes scholarly books miss.”

Thank you to the Chus for helping the WIU community in supporting our core value of being committed to equity, social justice, and diversity, as well as the internationalization of the curriculum and the campus.

Photo: Dr. Felix Chu and his wife, Nancy Chu are shown with just a few of the books from their collection.