Lu Yonggen, a former professor of South China Agricultural University. (File photo/Xinhua)
(ECNS) -- Lu Yonggen, an academician at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, has donated life savings of 8.8 million yuan (.34 million) to educational causes, Xinhua reported.
The 87-year -old scientist suffering from cancer says his achievements would not have been possible without the Communist Party of China, and that he is willing to make his last contribution to the country.
In March, Lu and his wife spent an hour and a half transferring all money saved in more than 10 bank accounts to South China Agricultural University to establish an educational fund sponsoring poverty-stricken students and talented young teachers.
Lu worked as president of the former South China Agricultural Academy, now South China Agricultural University. Under his leadership, the university gave priority to research and development, sometimes at Lu's own personal expense.
Lu himself also worked hard in his field of rice genetics, climbing mountains in 2001 at the age of 70 to find wild rice. During the past five years, Lu's team fostered 33 new varieties of rice seeds that are grown on land covering 600,000 hectares.
Although a renowned scientist, Lu lived a simple and humble life, using broken furniture dating back to the 1980s in his home.
The couple has an only daughter, but they decided to donate all their money, saying their daughter is capable enough to care for herself.
Lu's attitudes to work and research has motivated many, said the report.