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Zhang Wenhong visits alma mater in Zhejiang

ezhejiang.gov.cn| Updated: May 13, 2021 L M S

Zhang Wenhong, the infectious disease specialist heading up Shanghai's COVID-19 response, recently went back to his hometown of Ruian, a county-level city in East China's Zhejiang province, to attend a forum at the invitation of the local government.

Zhang visited his alma mater, Ruian High School, carrying a large Jingdezhen porcelain vase that he had kept for 35 years.

In November 1986, Zhang, then a third-year senior high school student, became the first-prize winner in a philosophy and politics essay contest among middle school students in East China and received the vase as a trophy at the awarding ceremony held in Jingdezhen, a Jiangxi city known as the "the capital of ceramics".

Zhang's essay "On My Hometown's Economic Model – 'Wenzhou Model' from the Perspective of A Middle School Student" stood out from more than 3,000 entrants for its incisiveness and open-mindedness that was rarely seen in teenagers back then.

It was the highest prize a Ruian High School student ever received in the field of social sciences and humanities in the 1980s.

Xiang Keli, Zhang's head teacher at Ruian High School, recalled that Zhang had top academic performance in all subjects, as well as showed strong interest in literature and seal cutting. Xiang was also impressed that Zhang was an obliging and warmhearted student who got along very well with his classmates, cared greatly about public affairs, as well as often taught English, which he was particularly good at, to students with rural backgrounds.

During his recent visit, Zhang gave the vase to the school president Chen Liangming as a gift, and the school president said that they would keep it as an inspiration for prospective graduates who aspire to make a difference to society like Zhang did.

Since the coronavirus outbreak, Zhang had been frequently interviewed by various media outlets as an authoritative epidemiologist. The professionalism, no-nonsense style, and sense of humor demonstrated in Zhang's remarks have made him a household figure in China.

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Zhang Wenhong (right) and Chen Liangming (left) are pictured on the campus of Ruian High School, holding the Jingdezhen porcelain vase that Zhang is about to donate to the school. [Photo/ zj.zjol.com.cn]

Zhang Wenhong in high school.jpg

Zhang Wenhong (right) is pictured with a colleague on the campus of Ruian High School upon graduation. [Photo/ zj.zjol.com.cn]