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In Memory of Former NTHU President Shen Chun-shan
Dr. Shen Chun-shan, a well-known physicist, died at 10:00 am on September 12 at Mackay Memorial Hospital at the age of 87 with his wife and son at his side.
 
After his third serious stroke in 2007, Shen was placed in a residence on the NTHU campus and was carefully taken care of by a housekeeper and a caregiver for 11 years.
 
Unexpectedly, on September 5th of this year Shen was admitted to hospital due to a fever and abdominal distension. After examination, the intestine was found to be ruptured. Considering that he had been bedridden for many years, Shen’s wife and his son, a physician, decided against invasive surgery and instead to allow him to die naturally and peacefully.
 
NTHU president Hocheng Hong and several professors visited Shen on many occasions during his long convalescence. He said that Shen loved and devoted his entire career to NTHU and that he will always be remembered by the entire Tsinghua community.
 
Shen’s family said that he had no particular religious beliefs and requested that following his death he should be cremated without a funeral service.
 
In accordance with Shen’s wishes, NTHU will hold a brief memorial service to give his friends and colleagues a chance to share their reminiscences.
 
Shen was born in 1932. After obtaining his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Maryland, he was a researcher at Princeton University and NASA, and taught at Purdue University. When NTHU was reestablished in Taiwan in 1956 Shen served as assistant to President Mei Yi-chi and teaching assistant to professor Wu Ta-you. In 1973 he returned to Taiwan to teach at NTHU’s Department of Physics. While teaching at NTHU Shen served as dean of the College of Science (1973-1979 and 1984-1987), the chairman of the Preparatory Committee of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (1982-1984), the chairman of the Preparatory Committee of the College of Life Science (1987-1988), and the chairman of the Commission of General Education (1987-1988). In 1993 he was appointed president of NTHU and continued in that position until his retirement in 1997.
 
In 2006 Shen wrote a memo stating: "My association with Tsinghua began in 1956, and in 1973 I returned to Taiwan for good. It has been 33 years since then, and I have no plans to leave Tsinghua in the future. Therefore, as a way of expressing my special connection with Hsinchu and Tsinghua, I plan to arrange for a go garden to be established on the NTHU campus." Unfortunately, Shen had another stroke and went into a coma shortly afterwards, but his wish was finally fulfilled with the completion of the Go Garden in 2013.
 
Shen also used his superb skill in go to raise funds for the school. In 1995, while discussing fundraising for the school with a group of business leaders, Mr. Robert H. C. Tsao, the chairman of United Microelectronics Corporation, challenged Shen to a game of go and agreed to donate 10,000 dollars to NTHU for every point won by Shen. At first, Shen thought that Tsao was talking about Taiwan dollars, but as it turned out he meant US dollars, and Shen ended up raising NT$15 million for NTHU.
 
Former NTHU president Shen Chun-shan passed away on September 12, 2018, at the age of 87.

Former NTHU president Shen Chun-shan passed away on September 12, 2018, at the age of 87.

Shen being sworn in as NTHU president in 1994.

Shen being sworn in as NTHU president in 1994.

President Shen with graduating students in 1994.

President Shen with graduating students in 1994.




President Shen stepping down in 1997.

President Shen stepping down in 1997.

President Shen with Nobel laureate Yang

President Shen with Nobel laureate Yang

Shen on his 70th birthday in 2002.

Shen on his 70th birthday in 2002.

A couplet written by Shen meaning “Don’t rest on your laurels.”

A couplet written by Shen meaning “Don’t rest on your laurels.”

The Go Pavilion was completed in 2013.

The Go Pavilion was completed in 2013.

Also found in the Go Garden is a piece of public art titled Confrontation, Conversation.

Also found in the Go Garden is a piece of public art titled Confrontation, Conversation.

 

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