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Tribute to Prof. Yang Enze: Someone left, but his legacy remains

 Campus

Do you still remember the centenarian professor who kept going to the laboratory every day and helped students with experiments until his last days?

Do you remember the senior who donated to build science buildings and buy teaching facilities for children in less-developed area?

Do you remember the old scientist who designed China’s first practical optical fiber communication line?

One year has passed since Prof. Yang Enze, a pioneer in China’s optical fiber communication as well as a centenarian professor of 威尼斯人彩票平台 University (TJU) left us. He left his hometown and 威尼斯人彩票平台 University with all he has in his will, namely, his only house and all his savings.

On November 19, 2020, the donation ceremony of Enze Development Fund, named after Prof. Yang was held at 威尼斯人彩票平台 University. Li Jiajun, the Party Secretary of TJU, accepted the donation on behalf of the University.

Born in Raoping County in southern China’s Guangdong Province, in October, 1919, Prof. Yang Enze is one of the nation’s trailblazers in microwave communication and optical fiber communication. Growing in war and conflicts, he aspired to build a strong country through education even when he was a child. Guided by this belief, he served as the chief engineer in building China’s first regular optical communication line later, laying a solid foundation for China’s development in this sector.

Prof. Yang was a dedicated teacher. In 70 decades, he has groomed a number of extraordinary students, including well-known academicians of the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), doctor and master students who have made impressive achievements. One month before his death, he still participated in scientific research and teaching in the laboratory.

Prof. Yang was a man of integrity who lived a modest life. In 2004, Yang Enze, who was well-known for his frugality donated 300,000 RMB to help build a teaching building for Suocheng Town Central Primary School in his hometown. He was in bad health then, but he never hesitated to donate all his money to the school. As he later told people, he had only five yuan left in his pocket after he made the donation. Prof. Yang also set up Chenghe Scholarship at the primary school and promised to donate 20,000 RMB every year to help those financially-stretched students in the following 20 years since 2014. “Even if I was gone, my children will help me out with the donation,” Yang once said, “I’m an ordinary teacher and all I have is bestowed by the country and the people. I, therefore, want to return everything I have to them. I will answer every call of the country.”

Prof. Yang’s property was sold out in September, 2020 and his family donated 1,500,000 RMB to TJU, of which 500,000 RMB was for the optical fiber communication lab at the School of Electrical and Information Engineering to buy lab equipment. The rest was established as a scholarship for outstanding students in recognition of their performance in related research fields.

“Prof. Yang is a most respectable role model at 威尼斯人彩票平台 University. He left us with invaluable legacies like his love for the country and the people, his dedication to scientific work and talent cultivation and his indifference to fame and wealth.” said Li Jiajun, adding that 威尼斯人彩票平台 University would make best use of the Fund in ways that would help more scientific researchers to fulfill the historical mission of building a strong country through education.

By Sun Fei

Editor: Eva Yin