Percy Chu Scholarships

The Percy Chu Scholarships are named after one of the Club’s early and most influential presidents, Percy Chu (PP 1934-35), whose dedication to Rotary ideals and activities spanned much of the Club’s history.

The objective of the Percy Chu Scholarships is to commemorate the lifelong love of learning of RC Shanghai’s Past President by awarding students who have excellent performance and have made great contributions to social charity projects or activity.

Applications for the Percy Chu Scholarships are solicited from various local schools and universities such as the College of English Language and Literature of Shanghai International Studies University (SISU); the Finance School of Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade, Shanghai University (SHIFT); the School of Social Development and Public Policy of Fudan University, and the Chinese Language and Literature of Eastern China Normal University.

The students must demonstrate good grades, financial need, and a commitment to community service.

Each year about 11 scholarships are given to students.  The scholarships are typically 5,000 RMB each.  In 2012 the Club awarded 25 scholarships.

Past President Percy Chu

Percy Chu (Chu Bo Quan) born in Hangzhou on October 2, 1898; during the sunset years of the Qing Dynasty. He lived through three centuries and five vastly different regimes in China. He graduated in Shanghai WuJiang University in 1919 and Columbia University, New York City in 1921 in Finance and Banking.

After returning to China, Percy was head of Business Department of Central Bank of China, United Bankers Association Preparatory Committee Manager, and President of Shanghai Bankers Professional Association. He created China’s first Federal Reserve Board and first Clearing House for checks in similar pattern from knowledge learnt while working at Citibank in New York & became its first General Manager. After 1948 Percy was appointed as Deputy Manger of Shanghai Continental Bank, WingAn Textile & Dying General Administration Manager, Shanghai Cotton Mills Business Research Chief, Shanghai Foreign Trade of Commerce & Industrial Union Deputy Chief and Senior Consultant of Shanghai Trade Union.

Percy was dedicated to adult education and was appointed Head of Business Faculty (MBA), eventually as Headmaster, Alumni President of WuJiang University, as well as DaGuangMing Movie Theatre Board of Directors Chairman & General Manager of Asia Theatre Organization. He was credited with establishing the first night college for working people in China and served as the President of Shanghai University for several years

He was admitted to Rotary Club of Shanghai in May 1926 and in 1934 Percy was elected as President of the Club. The club number then was 545 and was the second oldest in the Far East and the first English speaking club in Asia. At its peak the club had 130 members from 27 nationalities of which 30% were Chinese. Percy was a dedicated Rotarian and personally welcomed Rotary International Founder Paul Harris who visited Shanghai in 1935.

He is deeply loved by Rotarians in Greater China and abroad and in latter years was invited to participate in some grand celebrations in his honour, hence he is still remembered fondly.  ”I have been a Rotarian since 1926, and I was a member and a past president of the former Rotary Club of Shanghai, in China. I have continued to consider myself a Rotarian for all these years. I will remain a Rotarian for the rest of my life,” he said.

And true to his words, Mr. Chu devoted himself to the ideals of Rotary until his death on 19 March 2001.

Application Criteria 

Aim of the Scholarships is to encourage more college students to be committed to meaningful social charity projects and activities, and reward students who espouse Rotary’s motto, “Service Above Self”.

Successful applicants are expected to contribute at least two weeks of their time to do community service projects in the poorer parts of China in the course of this new academic year starting September 2011. We are also planning for a Leadership Development programme which we expect the successful applicants to attend. They are also expected to submit a letter at the end of their school year to reflect and relate their community service experience to the Rotary Club and to the life of Past President Percy Chu.

Applicants must not have records of violations of any school bylaws or have obtained other full scholarships. Students who have obtained bursaries are eligible to apply. Students from families with total annual income of less than RMB 20,000 per year will be given preference in the selection.

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