Fresno State theater arts professor Edward EmanuEl has been named one of five recipients of the prestigious California State University Wang Family California State University, Excellence Award.

The Wang (pronounced WONG) award was established in the fall of 1998 when Trustee Stanley T. Wang gave the CSU system $1 million — the largest donation ever given to the CSU system by an individual — to reward outstanding faculty and administrators. The award is designed to “celebrate those CSU faculty and administrators who through extraordinary commitment and dedication have distinguished themselves by exemplary contributions and achievements in their academic disciplines and areas of assignment.”

Four faculty and one administrator are selected for the award. This year, there were 60 nominees from throughout the California State University system. Recipients will receive a $20,000 award. This is the third year the award has been given.

EmanuEl, a member of the Fresno State faculty for 31 years, has written 32 film scripts and more than 100 television, radio and stage plays. He has directed Tony Award winners, 119 main stage productions and received the Edinburgh Fringe First Place Award for the production of his own play. He has done work for Disney Films and PBS. He developed a course for non-theatre majors, and since 1975 has taught about 10,000 students in that class.

He was awarded the Fulbright and was one of five in the nation nominated in 2000 for the Pulitzer Prize for one of his plays, which also won the David Mark Cohen National Award as the most outstanding play in America, and thus was produced at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington. D.C. The same play, “Dr. Sun Yat Sen, In The Mouth of the Dragon,” raised $2 million for the earthquake relief fund of Taiwan.

“Dr. EmanuEl has taken the love of his craft to a level which goes beyond entertainment,” said J. Michael Ortiz, Fresno State’s provost and vice president for academic affairs.

“In his last production

[“Dr. Sun Yat Sen”], Dr. EmanuEl has elevated his work to a level which benefits humanity not only in the content but also through the humanitarian relief that was generated by touring the production.

“The Wang Award is a testament to the excellence that he has demonstrated and is emblematic of the many outstanding faculty at Fresno State,” Ortiz said.

EmanuEl, who is a recipient of the Distinguished Humanitarian Award by the Ministry of Education in Taiwan, earned bachlor’s and master’s degrees at San Jose State University, and a Ph.D. in theatre history at the University of Minnesota.

The 2000-2001 Wang Award recipients are: Jane Hall, professor of economics at CSU Fullerton; Aubrey Fine, professor of education at Cal Poly Pomona; Maria Elena Zavala, professor of biology at CSU Northridge; and Valerie Bordeaux, director of university outreach and school relations at CSU Long Beach.

The Wang Family Excellence Award is administered through the CSU Foundation. Each campus president annually may nominate one faculty member from each of the following four categories: visual and performing arts and letters; natural sciences, mathematical and computer sciences and engineering; social and behavioral sciences and public services; and education and the professional and applied science fields. The chancellor and presidents also may nominate one administrator annually. The recipients will receive the awards at the May 15-16 CSU Trustees’ meeting in Long Beach.