100th anniversary of the birth of Wu Chien-Shiung

February 16 marks the 15th anniversary of the death of Wu Chien-Shiung. The opening ceremony for the shooting of the documentary was held at her Cemetery in Mingde Middle School, Liuhe town of Taicang city, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of her birth. 

Opening ceremony 

The Taicang Municipal Party Committee and Government presented a basket of flowers to the cemetery of Wu Chien-Shiung. An educational activity, themed “Promoting the Scientific Spirit of Chien-Shiung, and Be a Person of Moral Integrity” was launched among primary and middle school students across the city.

Covering1,300 sq m of land area, the cemetery was designed by Southeast University and reviewed by Ieoh Ming Pei, a world-renown architect. Surrounded by trees and flowers, the cemetery displays a unique style with a rounded viewing stand, columnar grave along with high and low water columns spouting out from two granite stones in front of the grave.

Wu Hanjie, granddaughter of Dr. Wu Chien-Shiung, said, “I was young when I saw my grandmother, but her modesty, rigorousness and beauty were rooted in my mind. My grandmother had emphasized much enthusiasm for national scientific development and education, which I really admire!”

As honorary President of Mingde Middle School, Wu Hanjie returns to school each month. The school was entrusted by her father,Wu Yi, and her grandmother, Chien-Shiung Wu.

Commemorative activities

The Southeast University, Academician Bureau of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Sizhou Municipal People’s Government will co-host two commemorative activities – Centenary Anniversary of the Birth of Wu Chien-Shiung and International Seminar on “Modern Technology, College Education and Social Development.”

The Taicang Municipal Government will launch nine activities, including the inauguration ceremony of the large-sized Bronze Statue of Wu Chien-Shiung and the Opening Ceremony of Wu Chien-Shiung's Exhibition Hall, the Forum on “Inheriting the Spirit of Chien-Shiung and Establishing Demonstrative Vocational Schools.”

The Commemoration Week will be held at the Mingde Primary School, the renovation and modification of “Mingde Middle School, Mingde Building, Ziwei Pavilion, and Wu Chien-Shiung’s Cemetery.” Some celebrants will introduce an animation film, Young Wu Chien-Shiung, and cosmic book, Biography of Wu Chien-Shiung, as well as cultural and educational activities. Local teachers will participate.


Her life

Wu was born on May 31, 1912, in her ancestral hometown in Taicang, Jiangsu Province, China. Her father, Wu Zhongyi (吳仲裔), was a proponent of gender equality, and he founded the Mingde Women's Vocational Continuing School. Wu left her hometown at the age of 11 to go to the Suzhou Women's Normal School No. 2.

In 1929 Wu was admitted to the National Central University. From 1930 to 1934, Wu studied in the Physics Department of the National Central University. For two years after graduation, she did graduate-level study in physics and also worked as an assistant at the Zhejiang University. After this, Wu became a researcher at the Institute of Physics of the Academia Sinica.

Wu married the physicist Luke Yuan Chia-Liu(袁家骝), two years later, in 1942. Yuan's grandfather was Yuan Shikai, the first President of the Republic of China and in his final days—notoriously—a short-lived, self-proclaimed Emperor of China. Wu and her husband became the parents of one son, Vincent Yuan (袁緯承), who also became a physicist.

Wu died on February 16, 1997 after suffering her second stroke at the age of 84.

Photos of the opening ceremony 

100th anniversary of the birth of Wu Chien-Shiung