College Career Center Renamed in Honor of Generous Gift

ZhangsWestern Michigan University’s Haworth College of Business has received a major naming gift for the college’s career center from Charles and Lynn Zhang. Charles and Lynn are owners of the Kalamazoo financial planning and investment firm, Zhang Financial, recognized as one of the nation’s Top 150 registered independent advisors.

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 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.

The college hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony and dedication of the space in the fall, where students and members of the campus and greater Kalamazoo community were able to gather to hear why the Zhangs chose to provide the naming gift for a center devoted to professional development.

At that event, Lynn Zhang spoke about the importance of experiential opportunities such as internships and how the ability to find meaningful employment is important to students who are seeking their passion and to parents who are watching their children fully develop their sense of self and independence during the college years.

“Charles and I believe that the goal of education is to help students identify their career passions,” says Lynn. “Through the programs and guidance offered by the career center, students are able to integrate their educational experiences into a lifetime of career achievement and satisfaction. We are especially honored to be a part of this essential resource for students at the Haworth College of Business.”

The gift will have a significant impact within the college. “Charles and Lynn Zhang have invested in the next generation of visionary business leaders with this generous gift,” says Dr. Kay Palan, outgoing dean of the Haworth College of Business. “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.”

Charles and Lynn Zhang

Charles and Lynn Zhang both earned graduate degrees from WMU. They own and manage one of the most successful independent fee-only financial advisory firms in the nation, Zhang Financial, with more than $2 billion in assets under management. For the past four years, Charles has been consistently placed in the top 20 on Barron’s list of America’s Top 100 Independent Wealth Advisors and is currently the highest ranking fee-only NAPFA-registered financial advisor on the list. Lynn is recognized as one of the nation’s top 100 women financial advisors by Barron’s. Both Charles and Lynn are often quoted in national media, including the Wall Street Journal, CNBC and Barron’s. Zhang Financial is also known for its commitment to philanthropy, especially within the local community. The Zhangs are supporters of many University programs, including the Department of Economics, the Academically Talented Youth Program in the Lee Honors College and additional programs in the Haworth College of Business. The Zhangs were the major donors to the spectacular Zhang Legacy Collections Center, opened on WMU’s campus in 2013. Lynn also serves as a member of the WMU Foundation Board of Directors.            Palan and Zhangs                                     LynnZhangsCareer Ctr