Former UW-Madison Chancellor Irving Shain Dies at 92

Irving Shain, a chemistry professor and UW–Madison chancellor emeritus who advanced the university’s interests in China died peacefully Tuesday, March 6, in Madison after a brief illness. He was 92. (Click here to see the full UW-Madison news release on Chancellor Shain’s obituary.)

Chancellor Shain led one of the first American university delegations to China of the post-Mao era, in the process launching a visiting scholar program that attracted hundreds of Chinese academics to Madison. Many of these scholars returned to China to become leading scientists and engineers

“I thought there would be, maybe, 10 or 15.”

That was the guess of Chancellor Shain as to how many visiting scholars he expected would come to Madison as a result of his two delegations. In fact, from 1979-1984, over 450 scholars came to the university from across China through the program that Irving Shain launched.

To watch a 2015 videotaped interview of Chancellor Shain on his 1979 delegation, click on the WCI Facebook page.

To read a feature on the impact of Shain’s work in China, click on “1979 delegations to China have enduring impact.’

(Photos are of a 2011 interview with Irving Shain about his work with China scholars, and a 1979 delegation photo from Changsha, China. Irving and his wife, Millie, are seated in the center front.)