Dr Ch'ien Mu, originally from Wuxi, Jiangsu province, was born in 1895. Precocious and hardworking, he continued to teach himself even when war had disrupted his schooling. Between 1912 and 1930, he taught at primary schools, secondary schools and normal universities, while publishing groundbreaking works on Chinese classics and intellectual history. Since 1930, he had begun to take up professorial appointments in a number of prestigious universities while continuing to publish seminal works on Chinese history, culture and education.
Dr Ch'ien came to Hong Kong in 1949 and established what was the precursor of New Asia College. In the next year, he and others formally established New Asia College, and became its founding principal. In 1953, the New Asia Research Institute was established, and he became its first director. Later, New Asia College was invited by the Hong Kong Government to form a part of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). Dr Ch'ien insisted that CUHK should aim to promote Chinese culture, use Chinese as the medium of instruction and appoint an ethnic Chinese to be the first vice-chancellor. His contributions to the development of CUHK were tremendous.
In June 1965, Dr Ch'ien resigned as Head of New Asia College, and moved to Taipei in October 1967. He became a fellow of the Academia Sinica in 1968 and devoted himself to research and writing. Dr Ch'ien passed away on August 30, 1990 at the age of 96. His complete work was published in 54 volumes.