Szutu Leadership Endowment
Dr. Gene Chan Szutu and Dr. Jane Szutu Permaul

Szutu Leadership Endowment


One opportunity for further support is in the development and training of university administrators as part of China’s continuous effort to build its universities into some of the best in the world. To achieve this, China needs to refine its administrative leadership. In the modern global community, such administrative leaders require exposure to innovation, connections to broader professional networks, and opportunities to sharpen their leadership skills. Leaders are nurtured through a process of mindful selection, training, mentoring, and experiential learning.

The Szutu Fellowship is intended to commemorate and extend the families’ devotion, leadership, and service to Lingnan. Grants through the Szutu Fellowship will extend the Szutu legacy.

Based on the knowledge that leadership is key to institutional success and that quality leaders are needed to further enhance higher education in China, the purpose of the Szutu Fellowship is to underwrite opportunities, programs, and other initiatives for the growth and development of leadership competencies and capacities of members of China’s higher education institutions.

Grants will be awarded to colleges and universities with proposals that meet the criteria for the Fellowship. Leaders who are most promising and deserving of professional development opportunities will be chosen to participate.


Lingnan has a history of fostering great leaders whose dedication over many decades and generations to the Lingnan Universities and the Lingnan Foundation has led to their institutional excellence and reputation. Among those leaders, the Szutu name has shone bright.

Dr. Gene Chan Szutu, an alumnus of Lingnan elementary and middle school and the Lingnan University, became a leading surgeon in China. He pioneered the use of local anesthesia for selected surgeries, now a universal practice. He returned to Lingnan Medical College in Guangzhou to serve as the head of the surgery department from 1948-51, modeling not only surgical techniques but bedside manner in assuring and comforting patients and families. He earned the respect of his colleagues and students as an outstanding surgeon, professor, and leader, lifting the Lingnan Medical College to new heights. His devotion to Lingnan continued with his service as a trustee of the American Lingnan University from 1973 to 1988, helping with the transition of the board from overseeing assets of the university to governing a grant-making organization, now known as the Lingnan Foundation, In turn, Mrs. Florence Chiang Szutu served as the head of nursing at the Lingnan Medical School, joining her husband in serving Lingnan University.

The Szutu impact on Lingnan has been felt over several generations. Their daughter, Dr. Jane Szutu Permaul is an outstanding leader in her own right. She followed her parents’ footsteps into higher education and served as senior leader of University of Claifornia, Los Angeles during an era when Asian women rarely rose to be top-ranking officers in United States universities. An exemplar of the Lingnan spirit of Education for Service, Dr. Permaul has also devoted over a quarter of a century to the advancement of Lingnan University, now Sun Yat-sen University (SYSU) in Guangzhou, and Lingnan University of Hong Kong (LUHK). She shared her professional expertise, volunteered her time, mentored hundreds of colleagues and students, contributed financially, and gave her unconditional love to those institutions.

Dr. Permaul has served on the Board of the Lingnan Foundation for 25 years, eight of which as Board Chair and three as President. In recent years, while the Foundation conducted a search for a new Executive Director, Dr. Permaul supervised the daily operations of the Foundation without any compensation and continued as President during the staff transition. A true champion of service! She has been described as the walking encyclopedia of the Lingnan Foundation.

The priceless collection of watercolors that captures the images of the Lingnan University of yesteryear also bears the Szutu name. The Lingnan Foundation is proud to use those iconic images in almost all of our publications. The artist of many of the paintings, Mr. Sz-to Wai, uncle to Dr. Permaul, was graduated from Lingnan University in 1908 and taught art on the campus to anyone who was interested, especially to middle school students. He was instrumental in opening several Lingnan Elementary and Middle Schools, establishing branches in Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Macao, and Vietnam. These schools sent their students to Lingnan University, and the careers of these graduates spread the reputation of Lingnan throughout Asia and North America.

Szeto Tsing, Dr. Permaul’s aunt, along with her husband, Dr. Yu-kwang Chu, were also extraordinarily devoted to Lingnan. Dr. Chu served as Dean of the Lingnan University under President Y.L. Lee and reorganized the university to bring about collaboration between the academic and business divisions of the University. He led the adoption of new curricula in 1937-38 for arts and sciences, agriculture, and engineering. He continued to serve the University after immigrating to the United States, serving on the Board of Trustees of Lingnan University. Mrs. Chu, a librarian, was custodian to the paintings sent by Lingnan Administration to the US for purpose of raising funds. She kept them in pristine condition in her many homes. Their daughter, Irene Y.P. Hsu, knowing of the passion her parents had for Lingnan University, transferred possession of the collection to the Lingnan Foundation so that the paintings can be enjoyed by many and continue to be an educational resource for LUHK and SYSU students.

There are many other Szutus who, over the years, contributed one way or another to Lingnan University and the Lingnan Foundation, not to mention many of their students and colleagues. All are exemplars of the LIngnan Spirit.