Tomb-Sweeping on Soochow Campus: In Commemoration of Our Late Chairman, and Presidents

  • 04/25/2018
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  • Headline News
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  • Information provided by Secretariat
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  • Written by Campus Reporter(s) Yi-Chun Chao, Office of General Affairs
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  • Translated by Campus Reporter(s) Xin-Ping Lin

Just before the tomb sweeping festival, on March 29, 2018, President Wei-Ta Pan, Vice Presidents Wei-Liang Chao, Bau-Tscheng Dung along executives, student leaders, and foreign students learning Chinese at SCU visited the three tombs of our former chairman and presidents on school campus and on Yangming Mountain.  The Office of Student Affairs and Office of General Affairs together organized the activity to “sweep the tombs” on spring days “in commemoration of our late Chairman and Presidents.”

The first stop was made at the tomb of Chairman Wang Chung-Hui and his wife, with Wang’s grandchildren attending. Wang played a key role in Cairo Conference and defended China’s rights by insisting that Taiwan as well as Penghu should be returned to the Republic of China. He was also credited for pitching in a lot of effort for SCU to be rebuilt in Taiwan. “Had it not been for the efforts from Chairman Wang, there would not be SCU today“, said President Pan.

In respect to Wang’s great contribution to the country, former President Ying-Jeou Ma presented bouquet on the tomb last year during the event of Soochow International Ultra Marathon.

The next stop was at the tomb of former President Chao-Yong Shih and his wife, where all were reminded of his devotion to SCU. When he was the President there were only three departments; Law, Political Science, and Economics. Through Shih’s efforts, SCU soon became a comprehensive university with three schools and eight departments.

Professor Hsieh Cheng-Yu, former Dean of School of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, recalled “As an expert in Law and a good sportsman, Dr. Shih took on the responsibility for SCU with uprightness and sportsmanship, making the spirit of this university solid as a rock as suggested in the meaning of his surname.”

Afterwards all made the trip to Yangmin Mountain to present bouquets and bow in front of the tomb of former President Kai Tuanmu and his wife, recalling the model of a great teacher and President. Tsung-Chieh Ma, Professor of Department of Social Work and a relative addressing Tuanmu as Granduncle, shared how she remembered President Tuamnu’s “simple and low-key” life style. It was also mentioned that for 14 years as the President, he did not take the pay, but donated tens of millions of dollars along with his residence plus tens of thousands of books before retiring, leaving great influence on SCU’s development.

This is the first time students were invited to pay homage to the tombs with school executives. Participants included President and Vice President of the Student’s Association, and students from the Chinese Language Center. Mike, an exchange student from Czech Republic who likes Chinese culture, felt excited by this activity, which was the first tomb sweeping event for him. Yet it was a pity that he couldn’t fully understand the story due to language barrier. He wished there would be more similar activities in the future.

The President of SCU Student Association stated that it was a meaningful activity combining promotion and certification of moral and aesthetic education. It not only helped students to know the history of SCU but was also a chance to remember the great predecessors.

During the activity the organizer invited the guests and students to have lunch at the soon-to-open vegetarian restaurant next to Feng-Ya Hall, hoping that all the people have more vegetables, be healthy and create an eco-friendly environment while reducing carbon emissions.