Last night, I had the chance to have an exchange of ideas with some of you and I was asked, not in these exact words, but essentially I was asked: What is the Board’s vision for Kaohsiung Medical University’s future. And that got me to thinking…. I cannot speak for the entire board, but I can share with you some of my personal thoughts from last night.
I think what we need to do is to go back to the basics. To go back to our roots. To go back to the vision of the founding fathers of Kaohsiung Medical University.
The first President of KMU, 杜聰明院長 put forth the vision:樂學至上，研究第一
Notice, he first mentions learning, 「樂學至上」. How do we cultivate in our students an interest in life-long learning? 活到老、學到老. The key to this lies in the saying itself. 「樂」, “Happiness,” “fun.” We need to make learning fun! I think this also is in line with what 李惠仁醫師 mentioned to me last night, that we should place a greater emphasis on our students.
While 杜院長 says research comes first, 「研究第一」, he actually puts 「樂學至上」 before 「研究第一」 in his vision. I think that there is great wisdom in this, as both are equally important.
I think we should expand on 杜院長’s vision, and not only do we need to make learning fun for students. We need to make doing research fun for the faculty and staff. And we also have to make it a top priority for our faculty to make learning and doing research fun and exciting for everyone. In other words, we want to ignite the passion for learning and doing research at KMU.
The first Chairman of the Board of KMU, my grandfather 陳啟川董事長, wished for KMU to be like Keio University in Japan and like Harvard University in the United States. 高醫要像日本的慶應、像美國的哈佛. He also said, after you graduate from KMU, and people ask you, where are you from, are you going to answer loudly that you are from KMU? 我們要大聲說，我是高醫人！
These are simple and timeless visions put forth by our founders, and I don’t think they need to be changed, as these are worthy goals that we should continually strive towards.
Based on these visions, twenty years ago, my father donated 1 million USD to Harvard to establish the Harvard-KMU Alliance. And with the help of Dr. Arthur Lee (李沐恩醫師), who was on the Harvard faculty at that time, and his wife Dr. Mei Chen (陳美瑜醫師), both outstanding alumni of KMU, we have fostered and grown this relationship with Harvard. Some of you may wonder, doesn’t KMU need the money more than Harvard? But I would argue that this is money well spent, because not only has it helped to open the doors of cooperation with Harvard that are still yielding fruits today, after 20 years, it has also been cited as an important factor in the winning of Ministry of Education grant funding for KMU, totaling more than the amount donated by my father!
While the cooperation started off quite modestly with young faculty from KMU being sent to Harvard for training. Over the years, this has grown and blossomed into a multi-faceted relationship with Harvard. Not only do we continue to send young faculty to Harvard for training, we also send every year our medical students to clerk at Harvard affiliated hospitals. For the last 7 or 8 years, we also have Harvard graduate students come to KMU every year to participate in a 3 weeks course during the winter which is taught by KMU faculty, and the work these students do are recognized by Harvard and they earn credits from Harvard for work done at KMU. During the last 4 or 5 years, we also have had senior Harvard faculty come every year to KMU to teach our students using the same methods and materials they use at Harvard, in what is called “Renal Week” at KMU. And just these past two years, KMUH (高醫附設中和紀念醫院) has also accepted 4 Harvard Medical students (two each year) to a specially designed clerkship program, for which these Harvard students are given credit by Harvard for their work at KMU. This is to say, the quality of teaching at KMU is recognized by Harvard.
So you can see, starting with my father’s donation some 20 years ago, KMU and Harvard have established a solid relationship. My father’s donation has helped to open the doors, but it is through the hard work and selfless contribution of 李沐恩醫師 and 陳美瑜醫師, and the faculty and staff of KMU and KMUH that has contributed to the blossoming of the relationship. We will continue to build on that foundation and explore other avenues of cooperation and other opportunities to collaborate. I hope we can do things of lasting consequences, to do things that will make a lasting impact.
I graduated from a little school up the peninsula called Stanford. Back at the time of the founding of KMU some 60 years ago, Stanford wasn’t a very famous school, or else perhaps my Grandfather’s vision might have been, like Japan’s Keio and America’s Stanford, instead of Harvard.
But I think therein lies hope and inspiration for us. Sixty years ago, Stanford was also about 60 years old. Look at what has become of Stanford in these past 60 years! So, in the next 50 or 60 years, while most of us, perhaps including me, won’t be around to witness it, but I hope that KMU will be able to attain the greatness of Stanford, Keio, and Harvard.
So I challenge each and everyone present here today, regardless of whether you are an Alumnus of KMU, a faculty of KMU, a student of KMU, a staff of KMU, or just a Friend of KMU, to look for those things we can do to contribute back to KMU, and for each of you to do so in your own way, because everyone is different. As 曾清楷教授 said the last time he was representing the Board at Chicago about 6 or 7 years ago, quoting John F. Kennedy: Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country. 曾清楷教授 asked us to think of what we can do for KMU. But I would like to expand on that and ask everyone to think of what we can do for not only KMU but also for our communities. Because while not everyone will be able to contribute directly back to KMU, we can contribute to the community in which we live.
And when we are recognized by our community, like 陳榮良醫師 is recognized, and people start asking you where are you from, you can proudly say, I am from Kaohsiung Medical University! And in that way, we can make a positive contribution to our school. 讓高醫以你為榮！ Make KMU proud of you! 大聲說，我是高醫人！