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Alumna creates scholarship to continue father's legacy
Fang Lu '97 with her parents, husband and children.
Back row from left to right: Steve Barriault, Fang Lu. Front row from left to right: Sophie Barriault, Xihong Luo, Naiju Lu, Eloise Barriault.
Life for Naiju Lu wasn't easy, but he never gave up, according to his daughter Fang Lu '97.
Naiju Lu was diagnosed with cancer in 2013, but before he died in June 2014, Fang Lu told him she wanted to do something special to honor him and inspire students on their academic journeys. With her family and friends, she established the Naiju Lu and Xihong Luo Scholarship for Engineers to continue his legacy of helping others go after their dreams. Luo is her mother.
"My parents worked so hard when they immigrated to the United States just to help me pursue my education. We had some hard times," Fang Lu says. "I was able to maintain a very good GPA and received an annual scholarship. I was so thankful. ... I got the best education through Binghamton University. I was able to achieve my American dream."
Born in 1932 in southern China, Naiju Lu was the oldest child in his family. His father died when he was young. He helped raise his siblings, and although he came from a modest background, he studied diligently, earned a university degree in engineering and supported his brothers and sister as they pursued degrees of their own, Fang Lu says.
As a physics professor in China, Naiju Lu conducted advanced research in the field of optical instruments and encouraged many of his students to pursue careers in research and engineering.
Fang Lu was in high school when she and her family immigrated to the United States in 1991. Her parents worked days and nights in a garment factory in New York City so she could obtain an American education.
She went on to receive a Binghamton degree in computer science and is now a software engineer and master inventor at IBM in the Boston area. Language barriers prevented her father from teaching at a university in the U.S., she says, but with this scholarship his commitment to education lives on.