The physics department's alumni of the 73rd class, Chairman Hongliang Hsieh of the Scientech Corporation, donated a piece from his personal collection to as the 100th birthday present. The large bronze statue of Rodin's most distinguish work, The Thinker, is not merely a present to the university but also the present to the students who will have a chance to enjoy a masterpiece of a great artist together with other art and works that his alma mater dapple and enrich the campus grounds.
During the opening ceremony of the university's Centennial Celebration, President Lih J. Chen first declared that next year in 2011 Tsinghua University will be 100 years old while the Hsinchu based NTHU will 55 years old. The President also thanked Mr. Hsieh for donating Rodin's masterpiece. He also described how Mr. Hsieh believes that collectors are merely temporary custodian of artistic pieces and that Mr. Hsieh is more than pleased to be able to share this priceless art work with everyone. President Chen said that NTHU is proud to have such an honorable alumnus. He also mentioned how the statue will be displayed in a suitable place and expects it to become one of alternative landmarks on our campus. He continued to describe how it corresponds with the ideas of Tsinghua in teaching student to be erudite, inquisitive, reflective, analytical, and diligent. He then mentioned that Stanford University and Columbia University both have identical statues, Stanford ranks at 4th in Time's World University Ranking, Columbia ranks at 18th and NTHU ranks at 107th currently. He says that this symbolizes our determination to strive for excellence and enter the Top 20.
As a member of NTHU's Committee of Hundred, Mr. Hsieh felt that to donate The Thinker, one of the only 46 pieces in the world, at such a historical moment as the 100th anniversary of NTHU to his alma mater brings him joy and looks forward to the day that NTHU can achieve it's goal of entering the top 20.
The Thinker also known as The Poet is a work made of bronze and marble by Auguste Rodin. In 1880 the French government contracted Rodin to build The Gates of Hell which is based on many characters from the Divine Comedy, in which a poet looks upon the misery in hell. The poet was later turned into The Thinker by Rodin, becoming an art piece independent from The Gate of Hell. This piece also became the most important piece of work in Rodin's life.
Rodin's thinker comes in large, medium, and small sizes. In 1880, he first built a medium version of gypsum. The first large bronze Thinker was completed in 1902, but never displayed until 1904. There are 21 large pieces made by Rodin himself and the Rodin museum, the other 25 are the free-standing type which were made by the Valsuani foundry in1998, they were the last. The Thinker donated to NTHU was certified by the French government in 1998, labeled No.25 of the large bronze made Thinker statues.
Rodin once said "If truth should not be destroyed, then I predict this, my statue will be everlasting" This might sound arrogant, but history will be witness to his words.