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Yi-Fa Lee Receives Honorary Doctorate from NTHU

2023.11.14
National Tsing Hua University (NTHU) in Taiwan celebrated the achievements of Yi-Fa Lee (李義發), a trailblazing biodiesel innovator, by awarding him an honorary doctorate in science. The ceremony on November 14 acknowledged Lee's selfless contributions to society and his alma mater.
 
A 1964 graduate of NTHU's Institute of Nuclear Engineering and Science, Lee's journey led him from being a lecturer at NTHU to becoming an influential environmental entrepreneur. As the founder of Chant Oil, Taiwan's leading biodiesel producer, Lee has played a crucial role in the global promotion of biodiesel, the energy transition, and sustainable development.
 
NTHU recognized Lee for his entrepreneurial success, his substantial donations supporting NTHU projects, and his scholarship initiatives. His commitment to NTHU and its students is truly inspiring.
 
Reflecting on his journey, Lee recalled serving as a lecturer for the inaugural cohort of students in NTHU's Department of Physics, Lee remarked, "Being with them—the students—was the luckiest thing for me!" Upon receiving the honorary doctorate, he humbly recounted his contributions to NTHU, stating that he shared knowledge and grew alongside his juniors.
 
NTHU President W. John Kao (高為元) expressed gratitude for Lee's contributions to NTHU, citing a classmate who, thanks to Lee's support two decades ago, received financial aid and a scholarship. Kao praised Lee's assistance to economically challenged students, which enabled many NTHU students to pursue their educations and fulfill their dreams.
 
Kao acknowledged Lee's unwavering and broad-minded spirit, identifying him as a role model for NTHU.
 
Representing the NTHU College of Science, Dean Chung-Yu Mou (牟中瑜) highlighted Lee's founding of Chant Oil, a company that recycles cooking waste oil nationwide and produces globally recognized high-quality biodiesel. Lee propelled Taiwan's biodiesel onto the international stage, and helped Chant Oil become one of the world's largest biodiesel manufacturers.
 
Dean Mou emphasized Chant Oil's role in significantly reducing carbon emissions and charting a new direction for renewable energy development.
 
At 86, Lee, a legendary figure in the industry, continues to develop patented technologies and oversee company operations, embodying the motto "progress or regress."
 
Since enrolling in 1961, Lee has maintained a deep connection with NTHU. Fondly reminiscing about his brief teaching tenure in NTHU's Department of Physics, he considers those years the most memorable of his life. Eight students who were taught by Lee, and later became academicians of Academia Sinica, attended the ceremony.
 
Lee once stated that, among the schools he attended, his feelings for NTHU ran the deepest. As a testament to this sentiment, students from NTHU's Department of Music performed the NTHU anthem at the ceremony, echoing Lee's deep affection for NTHU. Lee's son and two sisters were also present to witness the occasion.
 
NTHU conferred an honorary doctorate upon Dr. Yi-Fa Lee (李義發) on November 14. Officials from NTHU gathered to offer their congratulations.

NTHU conferred an honorary doctorate upon Dr. Yi-Fa Lee (李義發) on November 14. Officials from NTHU gathered to offer their congratulations.

NTHU President W. John Kao (高為元) (left) presenting an honorary doctoral degree to Dr. Yi-Fa Lee (李義發) for his selfless contributions to society and his alma mater.

NTHU President W. John Kao (高為元) (left) presenting an honorary doctoral degree to Dr. Yi-Fa Lee (李義發) for his selfless contributions to society and his alma mater.

President W. John Kao (高為元) (left) and the Dean of NTHU College of Science, Chung-Yu Mou (牟中瑜) (right) conferring an honorary doctoral degree upon Dr. Yi-Fa Lee (李義發) (2nd left). Dr. Lee's wife was also present for a commemorative photo.

President W. John Kao (高為元) (left) and the Dean of NTHU College of Science, Chung-Yu Mou (牟中瑜) (right) conferring an honorary doctoral degree upon Dr. Yi-Fa Lee (李義發) (2nd left). Dr. Lee's wife was also present for a commemorative photo.

Dr. Yi-Fa Lee (李義發) (right) carefully examines the framed Permanent Alumni Card, realizing the benefits of borrowing books from the NTHU library and enjoying parking privileges.

Dr. Yi-Fa Lee (李義發) (right) carefully examines the framed Permanent Alumni Card, realizing the benefits of borrowing books from the NTHU library and enjoying parking privileges.

NTHU conferred an honorary doctorate upon Dr. Yi-Fa Lee (李義發) on November 14. Nearly a hundred distinguished guests attended, listening to a performance by the students from NTHU's Department of Music

NTHU conferred an honorary doctorate upon Dr. Yi-Fa Lee (李義發) on November 14. Nearly a hundred distinguished guests attended, listening to a performance by the students from NTHU's Department of Music

The students from NTHU's Department of Music performed the NTHU school anthem during the honorary doctorate ceremony.

The students from NTHU's Department of Music performed the NTHU school anthem during the honorary doctorate ceremony.

Dr. Yi-Fa Lee (李義發), the president, and dignitaries stood together to sing the NTHU school anthem.

Dr. Yi-Fa Lee (李義發), the president, and dignitaries stood together to sing the NTHU school anthem.

NTHU conferred an honorary doctorate upon Dr. Yi-Fa Lee (李義發) on November 14. Officials from NTHU gathered to offer their congratulations.

NTHU conferred an honorary doctorate upon Dr. Yi-Fa Lee (李義發) on November 14. Officials from NTHU gathered to offer their congratulations.

Eight students taught by Dr. Yi-Fa Lee (李義發) half a century ago attended the ceremony where their mentor received an honorary doctorate.

Eight students taught by Dr. Yi-Fa Lee (李義發) half a century ago attended the ceremony where their mentor received an honorary doctorate.

NTHU conferred an honorary doctorate upon Dr. Yi-Fa Lee (李義發) on November 14. His family, students, and officials from NTHU were present to offer their congratulations.

NTHU conferred an honorary doctorate upon Dr. Yi-Fa Lee (李義發) on November 14. His family, students, and officials from NTHU were present to offer their congratulations.

NTHU conferred an honorary doctorate upon Dr. Yi-Fa Lee (李義發) on November 14.

NTHU conferred an honorary doctorate upon Dr. Yi-Fa Lee (李義發) on November 14.

President W. John Kao (高為元) expressed gratitude to Dr. Yi-Fa Lee (李義發) for his years of helping young students pursue education and realize their dreams.

President W. John Kao (高為元) expressed gratitude to Dr. Yi-Fa Lee (李義發) for his years of helping young students pursue education and realize their dreams.

Chant Oil, founded by Dr. Yi-Fa Lee (李義發), is renowned for producing biodiesel worldwide.

Chant Oil, founded by Dr. Yi-Fa Lee (李義發), is renowned for producing biodiesel worldwide.

In 1965, after obtaining his master's degree from NTHU, Dr. Yi-Fa Lee (李義發) served as a lecturer in NTHU's Department of Physics.

In 1965, after obtaining his master's degree from NTHU, Dr. Yi-Fa Lee (李義發) served as a lecturer in NTHU's Department of Physics.

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