First NTU Graduate Certificate Traveled Across Seas to Reach Recipient
Original article by Gallery of NTU History
In June of 1946, National Taiwan University issued its first diploma to Ding-Yue Liu (劉鼎嶽) of the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Nevertheless, it was not until a year later that Liu was officially handed the 52 cm by 39.5 cm certificate recording his graduation. This however, was not the first graduate certificate he had been given.
Lui is one of the rare locals to have studied at the University during its transformation from the Japanese to Taiwanese governments. Admitted to Taihoku Imperial University in 1943, Liu was scheduled to graduate in June of 1946. Following the Japanese defeat in the Second World War, the authorities of TIU decided to hand out temporary graduation diplomas before the Japanese retreat. As a result, Liu received a graduate certificate in October, 1945, a year ahead of his official commencement. Nevertheless, Liu remained on campus to complete his education under the new administration.
A personal interview with the Professor Emeritus revealed that it was also by chance that he had been given a second certificate. In June of 1946, NTU’s first President Tsung-Lo Lo (羅宗洛) approached Liu and Chemistry major Xun-shan Lee (李薰山) and asked if they would like to receive a diploma simply because “it was time NTU had its first graduates.”
However, since all college graduates needed to be approved by the Ministry of Education, which until 1949 was still located in Guangzhou, China, Liu’s certificate did not arrive in Taiwan until November 15 the following year. This is also the reason why his certificate was signed off by NTU’s second President Tse-Hong Loh (陸志鴻).
NTU’s first graduate certificates were massive (52 x 39.5 cm) compared to the A4 sized (21 x 29.7 cm) certificates of today. They were also entirely handwritten by advanced Chinese calligraphy writers among the staff who, during graduation season each year, would take the opportunity to earn extra income.
In comparison, the certificate was also different in that it included the student’s photo, an image of the founding father of the Republic of China Dr. Yat-Sen Sun (孫中山), the national flag, as well as the Kuomintang (KMT) party flag.
- NTU’s first official document at the Museum of Archives (2014/05/19 Features )
- History of the Presidency