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The well-known 73-year-old Yunnan University (YNU) alumnus Guan Qiaozhong was very modest during his interview, saying, "I'm just an ordinary alumnus of Yunnan University."
A photo of Guan Qiaozhong [Photo/ynu.edu.cn]
Guan is a well-known entrepreneur. He graduated from the Chinese Language Department of Yunnan University in 1986 with a master's degree.
After graduating, he devoted himself to a career in scientific research, determined to improve human health and well-being. In 2003, Guan founded Guangdong Kaipu Biotechnology Co and led the company as it developed into one of the leading companies in nucleic acid molecular diagnosis in China.
When he was studying at YNU, the dormitory conditions were not good. The Chinese Department had an equipment warehouse, which was usually unoccupied, but the equipment was valuable and needed to be taken care of.
Guan volunteered to look after the equipment warehouse – partly because it was located near the library, where he loved to borrow books from.
The warehouse was also only 10 meters away from the court where Wen Yiduo – China's modern stalwart fighter for democracy – gave his last speech. "Reading in the warehouse, I can see him fighting with his life and blood."
"The teachers at YNU are pure intellectuals. No matter their moral character or their attitude towards learning, they have left a deep impression on me and helped me a lot." Guan mentioned his mentor Lu Xun, research expert Professor Meng Shuhong and modern literature expert Professor Quan Zhenhuan.
Guan said he is forever grateful to these two mentors and visits them whenever he comes to Kunming. He has published a six-volume collection of scholarly essays for Meng.
Guan also offered more practical help to Yunnan province and YNU. In 1996, when Lijiang city had a magnitude 7 earthquake, he sponsored some students who were affected by the disaster. YNU proposed naming the scholarship after him, but he adamantly refused. "The name is so insignificant," he said. He also donated 5 million yuan ($757,319) to support the YNU Donglu Academy.
YNU is about to celebrate its 100-year anniversary. Guan said he hopes that the students and teachers there are confident in Chinese culture, Yunnan culture, and the history and culture of YNU.