The first major gift to the Project, amounting to $100,000 over five years, was pledged in March 2000 by Donald A and Loretta L Gibbs of Davis, California.
Don and Loretta are now retired from the University of California at Davis, where Don earlier founded the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, and more recently served as Director of the University of California Education Abroad Program in China. They are currently engaged in consulting work for companies doing business in China.
Don's letter of transmittal for the first phase of the gift reads as follows:"Mrs Gibbs and I wish to express our support for the work of Professor E Bruce Brooks and Taeko Brooks and the Warring States Project in the form of a gift of $100,000 made in consecutive annual installments of approximately $20,000 for five years, beginning in March of this year."
"Their research and publications are profoundly important for the understanding of a vitally important period in Chinese history. Their research is all the more important for the vacuum in quality Chinese scholarship created by the chaos of China's multiple revolutions in the twentieth century. Moreover, the powerful grip of orthodoxy throughout the centuries of China's long history has prevented the development of the kind of research that the Brookses and the Warring States Project are conducting."
"The pioneering work of the Brooks couple and the Warring States Project's world-wide collaborators has two other aspects which we find exciting and important. First, their work, through unusually creative use of the Internet, is bringing together the best minds in the field of early Chinese history world-wide. The daily electronic exchanges among these researchers, which would have been impossible ten years ago, furnishes incremental knowledge which works its way directly and swiftly into classrooms on a virtually daily basis, thereby raising the levels of scholarship for professor and student alike. The daily harvest of information on the Brookses' network is astonishing. Second, Mrs Gibbs and I are optimistic about the influence that the Brookses' work and the Warring States Working Group's work will have on the next generation of scholars in China. It will not only be stimulating, but liberating."
"We feel a deep sense of urgency in getting the Brookses' and the Project's research advanced into publication and disseminated as rapidly as possible, and it is in this spirit that we make this token material offering of support."