When Xiang-Rong Wang founded a water pump manufacturing company 25 years ago in Zhejiang, China, he named it Leo Group Pump. “LEO” stood for “love each other” and reflected Wang’s desire to give back to the community.

This philosophy took on significance for Keck Medicine of USC this week as Wang donated 100,000 isolation masks to health care workers.

“We are so grateful for the generosity of this Trojan family,” said Keck Medicine CEO Tom Jackiewicz, MPH. “This donation makes a significant difference in further ensuring the safety of our frontline workers.”

In March, due to the coronavirus pandemic, Wang began using part of his factory to produce medical face masks, which he has donated to charities and hospitals around the globe. He was motivated to give to Keck Medicine because his daughter, Sofie Wang, is a freshman at USC.

“USC is everything I ever dreamed of,” says the student, a business administration major with an emphasis in cinematic arts at the USC Marshall School of Business. “When my parents visited me earlier in the year and saw how happy I was, and then later learned that USC has a medical center, they knew they wanted to give back, and in a big way.” 

A young woman beams at a star-shaped seal bearing the letters USC.

While Sofie Wang misses her family, she is buoyed by the fact that she is making a difference. (Photo/Courtesy Sofie Wang)

Sofie Wang reached out first to USC, then Keck Medicine’s supply team and together they made the gift happen.

So far, four of five shipments of masks have arrived. They are being used by staff, physicians and others at Keck Hospital of USC and neighboring care locations.

Currently Sofie Wang is living in an apartment near the University Park Campus, unable to return home to Shanghai due to the coronavirus. While she misses her family, she is buoyed by the fact that she is making a difference.

“Donating the masks was a collaborative effort involving my family, my family’s company and USC,” she said. “Even though we are separated by thousands of miles, we are still connected and working toward the same goal of supporting the medical staff.”

Hoping to one day produce television or movies, Sofie Wang believes this experience will also inform her career path.

“In any film I make, I hope to show the impact people can have on their communities and that we are all united,” she said.

— Alison Rainey