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Professor Yi-Yan Li Donates His Life Savings to NTHU

2023.12.05
National Tsing Hua University (NTHU) in Taiwan recently expressed its gratitude to Professor Yi-Yan Li (李怡嚴), former Dean of Academic Affairs and retired physics professor, for his generous NTD 85 million donation. The ceremony at the Tsing Hua Hall of Fame on December 8 commemorated his significant contribution.
 
Due to health reasons, Professor Li could not attend the ceremony in person. Attorney Joyce Jen (任秀妍) represented him, signing the donation agreement. Faculty and students gathered to extend wishes for Li's health.
 
President W. John Kao (高為元) accepted the donation, expressing special thanks for Li's philanthropy.
 
Within the total donation, NTD 58 million has been set aside to establish the "Professor Yi-Yan Li Passing on the Torch Fund" to support new professors. NTD 15 million has been earmarked for the support of academic activities in the Physics Department, and NTD 10 million has been reserved for the NTHU Press to establish the "Professor Yi-Yan Li Publishing Fund" for faculty in the Humanities, Social Sciences, Arts, and Education.
 
Known for his passion for vinyl records, Li is donating hundreds of LPs to the NTHU library, and contributing an additional NTD 2 million to improve the library's audiovisual collection space.
 
At 27, Li earned his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Michigan. Returning to NTHU in 1964, he became the inaugural director of the Physics Institute, and made significant contributions to the Physics Department.
 
As the Dean of Academic Affairs from 1982 to 1988, Li drove administrative reforms and he was praised as an extremely competent administrator by former President Chao-Shiuan Liu (劉兆玄).
 
Longtime friend and retired physics professor Heng-Ching Chiang (蔣亨進) recalled their joint teaching of the department's course on fundamental physics. Li, known for his high standards, compiled the textbook Fundamental Physics, which emphasized understanding over memorization. Alumni remember his challenging courses.
 
Dr. Chin-Kun Hu (胡進錕), an early Ph.D. student of Li's, praised his contributions to scientific education as a founding member of the journal Science Monthly.
 
Academician Yi-Nong Huang (黃一農), a '77 Physics Department graduate, reminisced about being Li's student. Noting Li's love for reading and his vast book collection, Huang mentioned how it was popular for students to borrow martial arts novels from him.
 
In 1971, Li and Professor Hong-Yee Chiu (丘宏義) worked together to help establish the Astronomy Club. They made a 16-inch telescope, which garnered significant attention for the Physics Department.
 
Post-retirement, Li continued his active engagement with NTHU. Colleagues and students remember him for his attentive listening at lectures and his insightful questions.
 
Throughout his career, Li mentored many talented students. Distinguished alumni from the Physics Department, such as Academician Yi-Nong Huang (黃一農), Professor Shih-Chin Chang (張士欽), and Vice General Managers Nun-Sian Tsai (蔡能賢) and Douglas Yu (余振華) from TSMC, were all once students of Li's.
 
A friend of Li's for 50 years, retired physics professor Edward Yen (閻愛德), observed that Li is one of the pioneers in theoretical high-energy physics in Taiwan.
 
Friends, colleagues, and faculty gathered at the Tsing Hua Hall of Fame on December 8 to watch a documentary on Li titled "Realizing One's Destiny to the Fullest" and to share stories of their friendship and interactions with Li. Everyone hopes that Li, who has created many miracles throughout his life, will recover soon and return to his beloved NTHU.
 
The former Dean of Academic Affairs and retired physics professor Yi-Yan Li (李怡嚴) generously donated his life savings as well as various collections to NTHU.

The former Dean of Academic Affairs and retired physics professor Yi-Yan Li (李怡嚴) generously donated his life savings as well as various collections to NTHU.

Due to health reasons, Professor Yi-Yan Li (李怡嚴) entrusted Attorney Joyce Jen (任秀妍) (right) to sign the agreement with President W. John Kao (高為元).

Due to health reasons, Professor Yi-Yan Li (李怡嚴) entrusted Attorney Joyce Jen (任秀妍) (right) to sign the agreement with President W. John Kao (高為元).

Professor Yi-Yan Li's (李怡嚴) longtime friend and retired physics professor, Heng-Chin Chiang (蔣亨進), reminisced about their time teaching fundamental physics together.

Professor Yi-Yan Li's (李怡嚴) longtime friend and retired physics professor, Heng-Chin Chiang (蔣亨進), reminisced about their time teaching fundamental physics together.

Friends, colleagues, and faculty gathered at the Hall of Fame to share their memories and interactions with Professor Yi-Yan Li (李怡嚴).

Friends, colleagues, and faculty gathered at the Hall of Fame to share their memories and interactions with Professor Yi-Yan Li (李怡嚴).

NTHU Physics Department alumnus from the Class of '71 and current research fellow at Academia Sinica, Dr. Chin-Kun Hu (胡進錕), was one of Professor Yi-Yan Li's (李怡嚴) earliest Ph.D. students.

NTHU Physics Department alumnus from the Class of '71 and current research fellow at Academia Sinica, Dr. Chin-Kun Hu (胡進錕), was one of Professor Yi-Yan Li's (李怡嚴) earliest Ph.D. students.

NTHU Physics Department alumnus from the Class of '77 and academician at the Institute of History and Philology, Yi-Nong Huang (黃一農), was once a student of Professor Yi-Yan Li (李怡嚴).

NTHU Physics Department alumnus from the Class of '77 and academician at the Institute of History and Philology, Yi-Nong Huang (黃一農), was once a student of Professor Yi-Yan Li (李怡嚴).

In 1966, Professor Yi-Yan Li (李怡嚴) (center) lecturing to students.

In 1966, Professor Yi-Yan Li (李怡嚴) (center) lecturing to students.

A picture of Professor Yi-Yan Li (李怡嚴) from the 1970s.

A picture of Professor Yi-Yan Li (李怡嚴) from the 1970s.

Professor Yi-Yan Li (李怡嚴) (3rd right) and Professor Yin-Zun Yang (楊銀圳) (4th right) taking a photo with students from the Physics Department Class of '74.

Professor Yi-Yan Li (李怡嚴) (3rd right) and Professor Yin-Zun Yang (楊銀圳) (4th right) taking a photo with students from the Physics Department Class of '74.

Professor Yi-Yan Li (李怡嚴) (far left) taking a photo with faculty members on campus, including President Kao-wen Mao (毛高文校長), President Chun-shan Shen (沈君山), and Academician Yih-yuan Li (李亦園).

Professor Yi-Yan Li (李怡嚴) (far left) taking a photo with faculty members on campus, including President Kao-wen Mao (毛高文校長), President Chun-shan Shen (沈君山), and Academician Yih-yuan Li (李亦園).

In 1985, Professor Yi-Yan Li (李怡嚴) (right) hosted the Secretary of Education during his tenure as the Dean of Academic Affairs.

In 1985, Professor Yi-Yan Li (李怡嚴) (right) hosted the Secretary of Education during his tenure as the Dean of Academic Affairs.

Professor Yi-Yan Li (李怡嚴) participating in a lecture at the College of Humanities and Social Sciences in 2016.

Professor Yi-Yan Li (李怡嚴) participating in a lecture at the College of Humanities and Social Sciences in 2016.

In 2022, Professor Yi-Yan Li (李怡嚴) (3rd left) participated in a neuroscience lecture at the library.

In 2022, Professor Yi-Yan Li (李怡嚴) (3rd left) participated in a neuroscience lecture at the library.

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