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Alumnus Chiu-Shan Chen's Legacy of Giving and Inspiration
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Chiu-Shan Chen, a distinguished alumnus of NTNU, recently returned to his alma mater NTNU with a remarkable act of generosity. As the founder of Pacific Biotech and the first chairman of the Taiwanese American Foundation of San Diego, Chen has made a lasting impact both in the United States and Taiwan. His visit highlighted his enduring bond with NTNU and his support of the university’s future direction through a legacy of philanthropy and inspiration.

Chen, now 86, graduated from NTNU's Department of Physics and Chemistry in 1960. He later earned master's and doctoral degrees in physics from the University of Nevada, Reno, and the University of California, San Diego. Despite his extensive business career, Chen cherishes his experiences in academia and memories of his student days.

During his visit, Chen announced a generous donation of $1 million to NTNU's Gongguan Campus for an international teaching and research building complex. This contribution aims to enhance the institution’s educational infrastructure, ensuring quality learning environments for future generations. This gesture is particularly meaningful given Chen's reflections on his academic journey and the financial challenges he faced as a student.

Chen’s early years were marked by economic hardship when his family ran into financial difficulty. However, the kindness and support of his classmates allowed him to continue his education. This personal history fuels his current philanthropic efforts. 'Those classmates are my benefactors. They used their pocket money and meal expenses to help me. Although the amount was not large, it made a significant impact to me from junior high school through university,' Chen recalls.

Chen's donation is not just a financial contribution but a tribute to those who supported him. He hopes to name a space within the new building 'Fu Chiu,' to honor his classmates’ generosity toward him. “I hope future students will see this story and understand the importance of expressing gratitude to those who help them,” Chen explains.

Beyond this substantial donation, Chen has consistently supported NTNU through various initiatives. He established the 'Class of 1960 Physics and Chemistry Alumni Scholarship' to support outstanding students in the Department of Physics and Chemistry, ensuring that passionate students can pursue their research without financial constraints.

Beyond giving, Chen also rallies his fellow alumni to support NTNU. In 2019, he co-founded the 'North American Foundation' with fellow alumnus Cheng-Mao Chen, (Biology, ’58). This non-profit organization facilitates donations from overseas alumni, ensuring that their contributions support NTNU while also offering tax benefits.

Reflecting on his journey, Chen often speaks of the importance of helping others. His early involvement in the sports equipment business and subsequent venture into biotech, leading to the creation of Pacific Biotech, is a testament to his entrepreneurial spirit. His company's success, particularly with the development of a groundbreaking pregnancy test reagent, eventually led to its acquisition by Eli Lilly, a well-known American pharmaceutical company.

Chen's modesty belies the impact of his actions. He attributes his success to the support and generosity of others, yet it is his selfless giving that has defined his legacy. From offering his backyard to raise rabbits for a biotech venture, to supporting the academic dreams of NTNU students, Chen’s life exemplifies the power of gratitude and philanthropy.

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