Dr. Charles Q. Wu
On March 17th, 2021, Dr. Charles Q. Wu died of natural causes in Tempe, Arizona. Born in Shanghai in 1935, Dr. Wu showed early promise, graduating at only 18 from Beijing Foreign Languages University.
In 1956, Dr. Wu began teaching English at his alma mater, and also went on to edit the widely used "Chinese-English Dictionary" (1978, Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press). Also in the late 1970's, Dr. Wu conducted on-air English lessons on Beijing's state-owned Radio Station.
In 1980, Dr. Wu was among the first students allowed to study in the West, and in 1987 he became the first student from People's Republic of China to obtain a doctorate in English literature from Columbia University. In 1988, Dr. Wu established the Department of Chinese Language and Literature at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, where he would devote himself to advancing many young minds on their path towards understanding Chinese culture.
After retiring in 2002, Dr. Wu authored two books, including the University of Hawaii Press' "Thus Spoke Laozi," a new translation with commentaries of the Daoist classic "Tao Te Ching."
A lifelong educator and accomplished scholar, Dr. Wu was widely respected by his students and friends alike and beloved by his family. Dr. Wu is survived by his wife Diane Ma; their son Stephen Wu; and grandchildren Ethan and Katie.
Per Dr. Wu's wishes, for those interested in supporting cultural diversity and inclusion, please donate to Lan-Su Garden in Portland, either by https://shop.lansugarden.org/Donation.aspx?CR=IMOCW, or mail a check to Lan Su Chinese Garden, Attention: Vanessa Abahashemi, 220 NW 2nd Avenue, Suite 1050, Portland, Oregon 97209, including a memo that it is in memory of Dr. Charles Wu.