Celebrating a Century of Perseverance: NTU Centennial Series Events Unveiled

Date: 2023/11/1

Image1:NTU launched its centennial series events while announcing the centennial slogan: “A Centenary of Perseverance Preluding a Century of Prominence” (from left to right are President Wen-Chang Chen and Former President Pan-Chyr Yang).Image2:Group photo of President Chen, Former President Yang, and presidents of worldwide NTU alumni associations.Image3:Participants gathered for a group photo after the press conference to unveil the centennial series events and the centennial slogan.

NTU launched its centennial series events while announcing the centennial slogan: “A Centenary of Perseverance Preluding a Century of Prominence” (from left to right are President Wen-Chang Chen and Former President Pan-Chyr Yang).

Group photo of President Chen, Former President Yang, and presidents of worldwide NTU alumni associations.

Participants gathered for a group photo after the press conference to unveil the centennial series events and the centennial slogan.

National Taiwan University (NTU) is not only the leading higher education institute in Taiwan but also has played a critical role in shaping Taiwanese history. Established as Taihoku Imperial University in 1928, NTU will soon embrace its monumental 100th anniversary in 2028. To set the stage, NTU President Wen-Chang Chen held a press conference on November 13 to announce his plan for the grand centennial celebration. The centennial slogan “A Centenary of Perseverance Preluding a Century of Prominence” was also unveiled to show the public that the preparation for the NTU centennial is now in full force.

Alumni have long been the backbone of NTU’s operation. Three key alumni representatives, Alumni Association President Ming-Nen Kuo, North America Association President Wei-Lai Kiang, and Malaysia Association President Yan-Tiee Choo, took the podium to express their recognition and support for the proposed centennial projects. To strengthen the ties with alumni across Taiwan, an initiative has been launched to establish at least one regional alumni association in every county and city. “NTU Distinguished Alumni Association” has also been established to bind those outstanding individuals together. In addition, through the yearly “Meet with President” online speech, NTU President can engage alumni around the world and call for them to contribute to the centennial.

Paraphrasing the centennial slogan, President Chen delivered a presentation titled “Reflect to Innovate: From One Century of Excellence to Another.” He echoed the late President Ssu-nien Fu’s famous quote, "We dedicate this university to the spirit of the universe,” by praising the remarkable dedication of NTU faculty, students, and alumni throughout the century. Standing on this solid foundation, we are destined to innovate further and contribute greater than our predecessors. He then devised his plans to solidify NTU’s position in cultivating leaders, shaping global civilization, and fulfilling its obligations to society and the country.

Selecting the top 100 NTU contributions
To celebrate “A Centenary of Perseverance”, NTU will honor the immense contributions NTU members made to society and humanity during the last 100 years. From 2024, NTU will unveil 20 such contributions each year for five straight years, reaching precisely 100 in 2028. The contributions are not limited to geological locations and comprise three categories: Academic Excellence, Industrial and Business Achievements, and Social Contributions. The selection comes with award trophies, which will be presented to the undertaker at an anniversary ceremony. The history and records of awardees and their contributions will be compiled into the NTU: The Glorious Century book collection alongside other stories of NTU.

Raising the Centennial Fund
To promote NTU’s initiatives in talent cultivation and infrastructure improvement, the Centennial Vision Fund has been established to call for 1,000 distinguished individuals to contribute at least NT$ 1 million. As of yet, 106 alumni have answered the call. The fund is earmarked to construct “Centennial Memorial Hall” and support other projects in pressing need. In addition, another fund in the centennial name seeks to recruit 100 donors who commit over NT$ 10 million to fund recruitment, scholarships, and campus infrastructure. Both centennial funds combined are expected to raise over NT$ 2.5 billion in five years.

Cultivating talents of the future
Next, to pursue “A Century of Prominence”, NTU has devised a concrete roadmap on all fronts to meet its centennial aspirations. For the university’s core mission of talent cultivation, professional skills, leadership, global vision, and social responsibility have been central to NTU’s educational programs. To attain these goals, the university undertakes projects surrounding Future NTU 2.0, recruits international students, offers career mentorship, promotes international teaching programs, and builds research capacity for students to learn diverse subjects and put them into practice. Off-campus resources have been introduced to offer hundreds of internship spots at prominent enterprises and NGOs for NTU students to explore their career opportunities and aspirations. NTU also facilitates student clubs to engage in international exchange, enabling autonomous learning and a sense of belonging through team-based competitions.

Integrating resources to attract top faculty
To recruit top faculty talents, NTU rolled out the Outstanding Chair Professorship, which works in tandem with MOE Yunshan Scholars and NSTC Outstanding Talents, to attract promising young scholars to teach at NTU. Meanwhile, initiatives to relax compensation schemes, increase performance bonuses, and Excelsior Chair Professorship are implemented to reward and retain existing faculty. Other programs such as core consortiums and international joint projects can enhance inter-disciplinary collaboration, build up research capacity, and enable experienced teachers to pass down their expertise.

Expanding research capacity and international outreach
As a research-oriented institute, NTU strives to refine its programs and organizations to benefit researchers and facilitate intra- and inter-disciplinary collaborations. To expand international outreach, on top of running research centers for focus and forward-looking issues, top international research centers, and core consortiums, NTU also creates strategic alliances, engages in academic projects with partner schools, and establishes joint research centers and laboratories, increasingly elevating previous point-to-point engagements into group-to-group collaborations. NTU also endeavors to cater to specific areas of interest, marked by the creation of NVIDIA-NTU Artificial Intelligence Joint Research Center and Ying-shih Yü International Center for History and the Chinese Humanities. To extend the knowledge and experience of outstanding individuals across campus, NTU has established the “Royal Palm Lecture Series” to invite individuals who have achieved outstanding academic or business feats to deliver speeches; on the other hand, the “Raymond Soong Top Research Seminar” will invite six to ten Nobel Laureates to speak on campus and engage in exchanges with NTU faculty and students.

Sustainable campus driven by smart technology
In terms of campus infrastructure, NTU intends to renew its aged facilities to meet the demand for digitization and sustainability. President Chen’s vision for a smart and sustainable campus includes wider availability of advanced wireless connections, adoption of regenerative solutions, and utilization of green electricity. NTU expects to gradually modernize campus-wide buildings by installing energy-saving devices and smart electricity infrastructure before the centennial arrives in 2028.

Many ongoing construction projects expected to be completed by the centennial celebration in 2028: Min-Sheng Health Building, Cutting-edge Medical Research Building, Yunlin Huwei Medical Building, as well as additional faculty and student dormitories; projects that will have been tendered and in construction are College of Management Building 3, Bio-technology Building, NTU TECH (Zhubei Campus), and Industrial Cooperation Building (Yunlin Campus); planned renovation works for Main Campus and Downtown Campus are also expected to be completed by then.

Furthermore, NTU has planned to build the Centennial Memorial Hall at the cross-section of Roosevelt Road and Keelung Road. Designed on the concept of Sustainability, Eco-friendliness, and Reduced Carbon Footprints, the building will feature a dedicated space for exhibiting collections and materials of the NTU centennial social contributions. Other areas in the Memorial Hall will allocated for teachers and students to curate art exhibitions, host lectures, and convene gatherings.

Students also don’t want to miss out on this historic moment. Student clubs and organizations will undertake international collaborations, conferences, and seminars while presenting relevant achievements and historical archives. More dynamic activities will include inter-university sports competitions, art festivals, film festivals, and open-house events. Young NTU members will surely inject the much-needed creativity and vibrant vibe into the centennial celebration.

Finally, President Chen reminded all NTU members that passing the century mark is a significant milestone for the university. With the united effort from faculty, staff, students, and alumni, he looks forward to NTU continuing its glorious long tradition and striding forward to achieve all its goals for the next century.

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