Your browser does not support JavaScript!




A Long and Winding Road Leading to NTHU: The Life and Times of Chang Ling Chia
A long journey came to a happy ending with a visit to NTHU by the daughter of Chang Ling Chia, the first director of the NTHU Library.
Hsu Ming-Teh graduated from NTHU's Department of Nuclear Engineering in 1968 and is the current director of Office of the University Development, recently received an unexpected phone call from Mr. Chang's daughter, Chang Tai Tsui, who made a long trip from Bolivia to get in touch with her roots.
As Hsu recalls, NTHU was reestablished in Hsinchu in 1956 with the Institute of Nuclear Science as its first department, and in 1957 Chang Ling Chia was appointed the first director of the university library, a position he held until 1972. Starting off from scratch, Chang energetically applied himself to the task of setting up the new library. Built in 1968 and commonly referred to as "The Red Building," NTHU's first library was a three-story brick building located on the site now occupied by the Taida Building. Mr. Chang helped design the library, which received a lot of attention due to its large size and modern facilities.
Chang concurrently served as the director of the Department of Physical Education. In 1964, when NTHU enrolled its first batch of undergraduates, the entire number of students, faculty, and staff amounted to only about 80 people. Everybody lived on campus, and every morning at 7:00 Chang would lead the entire school in a vigorous round of calisthenics, push-ups, and a jog around the track. Chang was also instrumental in expanding NTHU's athletic facilities, and in 1969 he helped to initiate the Meizhu Tournament, an annual sports competition between NTHU and National Chiao Tung University.
Despite his unassuming appearance, Chang had a long and varied career. After graduating from Tsinghua College (the forerunner of NTHU) in Beijing and working as a teaching assistant at the same school, Chang went to the US, where he earned a master's degree in physical education from Springfield College, and then obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. Afterwards, he moved to Bolivia, where he got married and became a government official.
During his time in Bolivia Mr. Chang held various important government posts, and while representing Bolivia at a meeting in New York he happened to meet President Mei Yi Chi. After learning about all the ups and downs Chang was experiencing in Bolivia, President Mei invited him to come to Taiwan and teach at NTHU. Chang replied, "Since you are the president of the university, that makes me your student, and a student has to do whatever the president tells him to do." Soon afterwards Chang bid farewell to his wife and daughter, left Bolivia, and came to Taiwan. 
While teaching in Taiwan, whenever Chang ran into people he knew from Bolivia, they would always suggest that he's better off staying in Taiwan. When his wife and daughter came to visit, President Mei gave his daughter the name " Chang Tai Tsui" which to this day are the only Chinese characters she knows how to write. Of course his wife tried to persuade him to return to Bolivia, but every time she did so he would reply, "It's true that I could enjoy a very comfortable life in Bolivia, but when I die, nobody would remember me. Here in Taiwan, however, even after my death I will continue to live in the heart of my students." By the end of her visit to NTHU, Chang Tai Tsui earnestly told Hsu, "Now I finally know that my father was right; he lives on not only in the heart of his students, but also in the heart of NTHU."
At the end of their meeting, Hsu presented Chang with a copy of Appointment with NTHU and pointed out where her father's name appears therein. During her stay in Taiwan Ms. Chang visited her father's grave, and NTHU went all out in helping her meet up with her father's relatives in Taiwan.
Following Chang's visit to NTHU, Director Hsu was so moved by all the reminiscing about his student days that he has written an article titled "Return to NTHU," in which he recounts all the contributions Chang Ling Chia has made to the school.
hang Ling-Chia, the first director of the NTHU Library.

Chang Ling-Chia, the first director of the NTHU Library.

Hsu Ming The (third from right) with Chang Tai Tsui (third from left) and family.

Hsu Ming The (third from right) with Chang Tai Tsui (third from left) and family.


No. of visitors