Celebration of life: Dr. Steven Chen


Celebration of life: Dr. Steven Chen

Monday, July 8 from 10:30am to noon in the Hatley Castle Drawing Room 

Friends and colleagues,

Please join us this Monday, July 8 to remember Dr. Steven Chen, Royal Roads Greater China Chief Representative, an exceptional ambassador, supporter and friend of RRU for more than a decade, who regrettably and unexpectedly passed away in Shanghai, China last April. Dr. Chen’s wife and daughter will be in attendance at Monday's celebration of life.

For the past forty years, Dr. Chen displayed his passion for education, both personally and professionally. He began his graduate education journey in 1981, earning a master’s degree from the East China Normal University (ECNU) as part of the first batch of graduate students following China’s Cultural Revolution. Dr. Chen came to Canada in 1986, earning a full scholarship to study in a doctoral program at Simon Fraser University. He earned a PhD in Asian politics and history in 1997 at the University of Toronto and became a post-doctoral fellow at the University of British Columbia from 1998 to 2000.

Dr. Chen was also a devoted teacher, starting his journey at ECNU in China and the Tibetan Nationality University, as well as an instructor at Simon Fraser University and the University of Toronto.

In 2000, he co-founded Pacican Education & Culture Service Corp. He was an executive of the Shanghai Branch of China Center for International Educational Exchange under the Ministry of Education of China, and Director of the Canada Liaison Office of the Shanghai government. He helped approximately 4,000 government officials, educational directors, principals, teachers and other professionals to go on field trips, participate in training, or earn master degrees in China or abroad. He helped more than 30,000 primary and secondary students improve their English proficiency, and contributed to a government approved BA program jointly run by Shanghai Institute of Technology and Thompson Rivers University. He also endeavored to establish the would-be first Sino-US university—Shanghai-Maryland University in Shanghai—and obtained the support and sanction from Shanghai Municipal Government, including a promise of a one billion dollar investment in assets.

Dr. Chen has been a strong supporter of RRU’s collaboration efforts in China since 2010. In 2016, he assumed the role of Greater China Chief Representative, managing RRU’s relationship with government agencies and partners, until his recent passing.

On a personal level, Dr. Chen displayed the best of human qualities, and could be easily spotted around campus always proudly wearing a navy RRU cap and an inspiring smile.

To honour his passion for learning, genuine connection with others and outstanding contribution as an international ambassador, Royal Roads University has established the Dr. Steven Chen Memorial Award to assist students in financial need who demonstrate leadership or contributions to their communities, with a preference for students from Greater China.

If you would like to learn more about this award or contribute towards the fund in honour of Dr. Chen, please contact Andrea Boyes by email or at 250-391-2561. You can also contribute online.