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On December 15, Dr. James S. C. Chao (hereinafter referred to as Dr. Chao), alumnus of Wusong Merchant Marine College at Class of 1946, Chinese American Shipping Tycoon and the founder of Foremost Group, Ms. Angela Chao, Dr. Chao’s youngest daughter and Deputy Chairman of Foremost Group, and Prof. Cui Jiarong, the author of Dr Chao's biography Fearless Against The Wind from National Chiao Tung University visited SMU and launched the new book Fearless Against The Wind. Mr. Jin Yongxing, Chairman of SMU Council, Mr. Wang Haiwei, Vice Chairman of SMU Council and Vice President of SMU, Mr. Shi Xin, Vice President of SMU, and over 400 teachers and students attended the book launch event. During the visit, President Huang Youfang met with Dr. Chao.
On behalf of SMU, Mr. Jin Yongxing expressed his heartfelt welcome to Dr. Chao and his entourage. After getting success in his career, Dr. Chao was always concerned about China and made great contributions to the shipbuilding industry in China. The Shanghai Mulan Education Foundation, set up by Dr. Chao and his wife, Ruth Mulan Chu Chao, who passed away in 2007, has awarded thousands of scholarships to students and been generous benefactors to many institutions. Mr. Jin Yongxing appreciated Chao’s family for their long-term support for SMU’s education. He said that SMU would spare no effort to continue to promote the training of international shipping talents and provide a steady stream of reserve forces for the development of China's shipping industry. Mr. Jin Yongxing emphasized that Fearless Against The Wind is the epitome of Dr. Chao’s legendary life and wisdom. His brilliant life story would bring profound inspiration to the young college students. The Mulan spirit of "love, optimism, perseverance and enterprising" will also inspire more excellent students to dedicate their youth and knowledge to making China a marine power.
Mr. Huang Youfang said that Dr.Chao, starting from scratch, was not only a successful business leader, but also a kind father. He and Ruth Mulan Chu Chao raised a wonderful family with 6 excellent daughters, 4 of whom are graduates of Harvard. His eldest daughter Elaine L. Chao, the 18th and current United States Secretary of Transportation, was the first Asian American woman and the first Chinese American in U.S. history to be appointed to a President's Cabinet. She is the pride of Chinese.
Mr. Huang Youfang briefly introduced the development of SMU in personnel training, scientific research and international exchange in recent years. He also said that SMU is currently developing well and making efforts to become a high-level maritime university with global influence. He appreciated Dr. Chao and his family’s long-term support for SMU.
Dr. Chao expressed his appreciation and congratulations on the rapid development of SMU in recent years. In his speech, he shared his own growth experience and life perception. “Difficulties are opportunities, which are the foundation of success,” he said to the young people. “Our roots are in China, I always want my daughters to come back often,” he said that it’s necessary to work hard, learn more, think more and be honest to people for one who wants to succeed. He encouraged all students to strive to become pillars of China and create a beautiful future through their own efforts.
Ms. Angela Chao, in her speech, shared the impact of her parents’ story on herself. She said that her father’s life is an inspirational story of love, family, hope and perseverance, which could bring encouragements to a lot of people. In Fearless Against The Wind, Ms. Angela Chao and her sisters described the source of strength of their parents, that’s China's historical and cultural wisdom and values, which gives them hope and courage when they were facing challenges, difficulties and unpredictable future. Ms. Angela Chao also shared the profound impact of his parents’ life value and life story on her in the respect of gratitude, trust and value choices.
On behalf of SMU, Mr. Shi Xin accepted the books donated by Dr. Chao. In return, Mr Jin Yongxing presented a porcelain vase made by students from Xu Beihong Fine Arts School to Dr. Chao, on which there is a painting of the Shipping Simulation Memorial Center funded by Dr. Chao and his wife.
During the speech, Dr. Chao and Ms. Angela Chao talked with the students about education, qualities required of the contemporary society and Sino-US cultural contrast. They were also interviewed by Medias of DRAGON TV, China Daily, and Wen Wei Po.