Generous teacher dies at 86 in Suzhou | Updated: 2023-09-21 14:33
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Zhang Shouhua, a retired associate professor who launched the educational assistance program to help impoverished students at Suzhou Medical College of Soochow University, died in Suzhou at the age of 86, according to Suzhou Radio & Television General Station.

In August 1961, Zhang Shouhua graduated from Tsinghua University as one of the first graduate students of the Department of Chemical Engineering. He was assigned to the Institute of Modern Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (now China Institute of Atomic Energy) after graduating.

Zhang devoted his life to radiochemistry. In 1975, Zhang was transferred to Suzhou Medical College (now affiliated with Soochow University), where he served as a lecturer and associate professor, and the director of the radiochemistry teaching and research office, and completed Radiohemistry, the first-ever higher education textbook in domestic radiochemistry.

Zhang's idea of helping impoverished students came in 1996 when he saw a freshman insisting on giving a portion of her meager living allowance to her father for meals while her father insisted on leaving all his money to her, even if it meant going hungry during the journey home.

In the same year, Zhang launched the educational assistance program at Suzhou Medical College of Soochow University. Despite suffering from severe hypertension and diabetes, Zhang tirelessly pedaled his bicycle to seek and contact the needy students.

Over the past years, Zhang has supported over 600 financially challenged students. His selfless deeds were brought to light through public performances held in Suzhou and Nanjing, East China's Jiangsu province.

"His home was extremely modest, with the furnishings well-worn," a student from Suzhou Medical College of Soochow University revealed at a symposium in 2016, marking the 20th anniversary of Zhang's educational assistance program.

"We will carry on the torch of philanthropy, ensuring that impoverished students have access to education," said his colleagues.

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