University Held Special Exhibition in Commemoration of
the Sixtieth Anniversary of the Death of Our Former President Mr. Ssu-Nien Fu
Mr. Ssu-Nien Fu, alias Meng-Jeng, was born in the 22nd year of the Kwang-shu Reign of Ching Dynasty (1896). He died in the thirty ninth year of the Republic of China, at the age of 55. Mr. Fu was known as a trailblazer for the New Culture movement of modern China, wherein he made great contributions to the academic thought of China, His scholastic attainments and reputation were well known both in China and abroad. He once served as the Director of the Institute of History and Philology of Academia Sinica, where he deserved credit for spearheading research in China’s history and linguistics. He was also an acting President of Peking University, and from January 1949 to December 1950 he was the fourth president of National Taiwan University.
When our country was in shambles, Mr. Fu took over as the President of National Taiwan University. Maintaining his noble personality, his magnificent disposition, and an unselfish attitude toward education, President Fu laid an important foundation for our university. He insisted upon the independence and dignity of academic studies, and emphasized the importance of teaching and research. So, in essence, he was pivotal in shaping the quality of our academic tradition. He once made a clear declaration to all faculty and students of our university, saying that the purpose of a university education was for inculcating the young, for bettering China culture and the culture of the world. He proposed “Mold your character and sharpen your knowledge, love your country and your people” as the university motto to be abided by all concerned, and, espousing the spirit of “consecrating our university to the universe,” he was able to blend the East with the West, implanting the legacy of liberalism and humanism into our campus.
On December 20th, 1950, President Fu attended the fifth meeting of the Taiwan Provincial Assembly. After he made a report on the affairs of National Taiwan University, he suffered a stroke, and died of cerebral hemorrhaging shortly afterwards. Needless to say, all his acquaintances both at home and abroad were shocked and saddened to hear the news. His last words which he spoke at the podium—“The scholarship system should never be abolished. For those students who are talented and diligent, I am one hundred percent sympathetic. They face the destiny of not being able to continue their studies for lack of money, and we shall never allow them to be turned away from our campus” still ring resonantly in our years. His ashes were buried in the botanic garden of our university, which was subsequently renamed the “Fu Garden” in his commemoration. We also cast a ringing bell named the “Fu Bell” which rings every hour on the hour, and is considered an important spiritual symbol of our university even today.