Old Photos Tell Story: Dr. Hu Shih’s First Lecture at NTU
2006 marks the 110th anniversary of the birth of NTU’s late president Fu Ssu-nien. The Retirees’ Friendship Association held a special exhibit called “Old Photos Tell Story” to relate an encounter between Fu Ssu-nien and Dr. Hu Shih.
Dr. Hu Shih was born in 1891, five years earlier than Fu Ssu-nien. He returned from the U.S. to China in 1917, and taught at Beijing University. Fu Ssu-nien entered the preparatory school of Beijing Univesity in 1914, and was admitted to the Department of Chinese Literature a year later. When the “May Fourth Movement” was in full swing in 1919, the students of Beiing University staged mass rallies and demonstrations under the patriotic slogan “Punish the national traitors, and resist the foreign invaders.” Fu Ssu-nien was elected as leader for that student movement, and acted as chief commander for the parades. He graduated from Beijing University in the autumn of that year, after six years of study.
Dr. Hu Shih’s relationship with Fu Ssu-nien can be described as a teacher and a friend, or somewhere in between. Fu Ssu-nien came to Taiwan in the beginning of 1949, and took office as the fourth President of NTU on January 20th. In view of the rapid deterioration of the political situation in China, Dr. Hu Shih also left Beijing for Taiwan within a short time, and took up temporary residence at Fu Ssu-nien’s official mansion. Through President Fu Ssu-nien’s arrangement and upon the invitation of the Historical Society of NTU, Dr. Hu Shih agreed to give a speech at NTU on March 24th. At that time NTU did not have a suitable conference hall for speeches and assemblies, so the venue was the larger-sized Classroom 20 on the west wing of the College of Liberal Arts. President Fu Ssu-nien delivered the welcome speech at the occasion, followed by Dr. Hu Shih’s lecture.