The best kind of giving is that which inspires others to do the same.
Born in Jiangsu Province in 1930, Cyrus Tang came to the United States in 1950, and through hard work and perseverance became a successful entrepreneur. But even as he was fully occupied with his business activities, Mr. Tang always kept in mind how best to use his resources to help society. In the 1990s he established a family of three Foundations in the US: the Cyrus Chung Ying Tang Foundation supports education, public healthcare and civic participation projects in the United States; the Tang Foundation for the Research of Traditional Chinese Medicine supports research at the University of Chicago and at a research institute in Beijing; and the Cyrus Tang Foundation supports education and public healthcare in China.
The latter foundation began in 1997 with a Cyrus Tang Scholarship fund for undergraduates. Awards are based on the students' scholastic achievements, financial needs, exemplary conduct and civic involvement. By the end of 2011 the fund had provided scholarships for 6,266 students. The foundation also provides small grants for students to undertake special research projects.
In 2006, the Foundation initiated a new scholarship program to encourage the development of character, good citizenship as well as scholastic diligence among young students. One recipient is selected from each class of each grade from all middle schools and high schools in a selected county. The scholarship recipients are selected annually through anonymous voting by fellow students. By the end of 2011 the fund had provided scholarships for 40,343 students.
Construction or renovation of rural primary schools was other area of the foundation’s work. As of 2003, 251 CTF Schools were built in 12 provinces, helping the affected areas meet challenges in education. This program was paused in 2004 because of national policy.
In the same year, the foundation launched "Pass The Torch" Rural Educational Assistance Program with four towns in Jiangsu, Anhui, and Shaanxi provinces, to ‘ignite’ (薪火) rural education. This pilot project provides scholarships for children from poor families, offers vocational training to youngsters who have failed to qualify for college, and mobilises university student volunteers to run training programmes and educational activities in rural areas. Besides, the Foundation has been financing, and the universities have been providing the expertise and personnel, to set up model villages in these communities. These villages serve as bases for hands-on teaching of agronomic skills, and for disseminating the latest in agricultural technology. This activity is designed to improve farm productivity and help break the poverty cycle.
In addition to these regular programs, the foundation donates equipment and funds for medical research, educational research, scientific research, etc. in universities and his hometown.
Sun Youfan, China Office Director
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