Forging Relationships and Paving New Paths

Expand image A group of people pose for the camera in front of a building.

From left: Alex, Aiden, Ariana, and Adeline Ong with Carol, Ed, and Joseph Wong. | Photo by Sarah M. Golonka.

Over the years, Ed and Carol Wong have worn many hats: executives, parents, grandparents, and benefactors. And now, they have proudly added another title to their résumé: docents.

When Ed and Carol became docents—joining the ranks of a dedicated community of 1,200 Huntington volunteers and docents—it was a significant milestone for them. Ed, who retired as a corporate chief executive in early 2023, knew he wanted to give more of his time to The Huntington. As soon as an opportunity to train as an “Ask Me” docent at the Japanese Heritage Shōya House opened, both Ed and Carol eagerly seized the chance.

For the Wongs, this moment was a long time in the making. Ed visited The Huntington as a student in the 1970s, and he fondly recalls how “the outdoor gardens and museum displays left a lasting impression” on him. When the Wongs moved to San Marino in the early 2000s, they became devoted Members, leading to nearly three decades of Membership and a growing commitment to support The Huntington.

Ed and Carol, along with their children, Ariana and Joseph, have funded several Huntington projects through their family’s trust. The family has made wonderful contributions to support the Rose Garden Tea Room renovation and the expansion of the Chinese Garden, Liu Fang Yuan 流芳園, the Garden of Flowing Fragrance. Their generosity has also played a vital role in the recent addition of the 18th-century Shōya House, which further enriches The Huntington’s cultural tapestry.

The Wongs—who have a profound love and appreciation for Japanese culture and history, cultivated through their extensive travels in Japan—were captivated by The Huntington’s plans to move the 3,000-square-foot residence, built around 1700, from Japan to San Marino. Enthralled by the project, they made a significant gift to support the effort.

During a tour of the Shōya House’s construction progress, Ed and Carol learned of the need for a golf cart pathway from the Chinese Garden to the Japanese Garden. Without hesitation, the Wongs decided to make this pathway a reality, enabling golf carts to easily travel between the two gardens. “This pathway expresses the connection between our Chinese heritage and our affection for the Japanese Heritage Shōya House,” Ed says.

With the Shōya House now open to enthusiastic visitors, Ed and Carol have the chance to share their love and knowledge as warm and welcoming “Ask Me” docents.

For more information about supporting the Japanese Garden or Chinese Garden, please contact Sian Leong Adams, director of strategic initiatives, at 626-405-2277 or