Dr. Fu-Cheng Hsu, President of the J.T. Tai & Co. Foundation and a major donor to Soochow University, passed away peacefully at home on March 30, 2019, at the age of 95. Despite his long-term and generous sponsorship, few Soochow students have heard of or known about Dr. Hsu due to his low profile.
Dr. Hsu, (October 9, 1925 – March 30, 2019), was born in Beijing and received his Ph.D. from Columbia University. He served as the President of the China Institute in America from 1969 to 1983, during which he promoted Chinese culture and cultural exchange in the United States. In 1981, Dr. Hsu and New York real estate developer J.T. Tai established the J.T. Tai & Co. Foundation, and had since made great contributions to higher education as president. He was also an honorary board member of the Thunderbird School of Global Management and Eisenhower Fellowships, showing how much he cared about education.
Dr. Hsu’s relationship with Soochow University began during the late Dr. Joseph K. Twanmoh’s term as president of the University. In 2002, former Soochow University President Yuan-Tsun Liu visited Dr. Hsu in the United States. After the visit, Dr. Hsu wrote President Liu a letter, in which he described in detail his meeting with former President Twanmoh more than three decades ago (in the 1970s). During the aforesaid meeting, Dr. Twanmoh talked about all the tribulations of reactivating a university and impressed Dr. Hsu with his unwavering spirit. Despite the hardships they faced, Dr. Twanmoh and Chairman Shao-Yu Wang dedicated themselves to the reactivation of Soochow University. Thanks to their efforts, Soochow has been able to nurture numerous talents in various fields over the past few decades.
Since 2002, Dr. Hsu has provided scholarships through the Friends of Soochow Foundation and donated to the Joseph K. Twanmoh Lecture Fund. Through his numerous contributions, Dr. Hsu hoped to turn Soochow University into a top university. Former President Yuan-Tsun Liu, former President Chao-Shiuan Liu, and President Wei-Ta Pan had all visited Dr. Hsu during their terms as president of Soochow University. To thank the J.T. Tai & Co. Foundation and Dr. Hsu for their generous donations, in 2008, Soochow University unveiled the J.T. Tai Conference Room, which is located inside the First Academic Building at Waishuangsi Campus.
For many years, donations from the J.T. Tai & Co. Foundation has been used to improve the campus and fund scholarships, student exchange programs, professor exchange programs, and the School of Business-Thunderbird School of Global Management dual degree scholarship. In recent years, the J.T. Tai & Co. Foundation has increased the amount of its yearly donation to 650,000 US dollars, bringing the foundation’s total donations to 5.16 million US dollar (about NT$166,467,986) as of December 2018, which is the largest amount from a single outside, non-alumni donor in the school’s history.
As Mrs. Michelle Hsu, Dr. Hsu’s widow, informed us of her husband’s departure, she assured that she’ll continue supporting and donating to Soochow just as her husband did. While Dr. Hsu was not an alumnus of Soochow, he had done a great deal for the University during his lifetime, and left words to his family that support and donations to Soochow be continued. Saddened by the bad news and moved by the good news, President Wei-Ta Pan immediately replied to Mrs. Hsu’s letter, sending his condolences on behalf of everyone at Soochow University.
A great scholar and philanthropist, Dr. Hsu and his love, support and friendship to Soochow for the past two decades will be remembered forever in the heart of everyone in the University. May him rest in peace.
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