Hello everyone, I am Doug Chrisey, the person who initiated these two donation campaigns. I was Zijie's Ph.D. advisor and his closest friend over the years. I am currently a Chaired Professor at Tulane University. The funds collected will be put into a trust fund that is administered by a separate party and used strictly for his parents well being in retirement. This crowd source platform does not permit any personal use.
What follows is a personal video from his parents.
This fund is to help Zijie Yan's Parents who live in Central China. If you would like to help his children please follow the link below
Dear Zijie, this is our way to help us deal with the grief we are all suffering from your tragic passing. Saying goodbye to you is so hard and we are lucky to know someone so special. It is from your loving friends and is meant to help us carry on the kindness you showed us in your life through your care for your children and your parents, and your students/colleagues/friends. We all stand alongside of you in darkness, our friend, as you will forever be in our hearts. Thank you for teaching us to always find something positive in the day and to challenge ourselves, and always with a beautiful smile. You will be truly missed.
The reason why Zijie became Zijie is inseparable from the life education and growth he had received, as a child, from his parents who are farmers in Hubei, China. They are not rich, but they worked hard to provide Zijie with the best learning and living conditions they could ever provided.
His mother has once said that they regarded Zijie as their “heaven”, that is, their spiritual support and hope for a better life in the future. So the sky is falling, and their pain, white haired sending black haired to grave, can be immeasurable! However, when they heard that Zijie’s professors, colleagues, friends and strangers would want to raise special funds for them, they not only sincerely appreciated and cherished it, but also felt that this was the hope that Zijie is bringing them to the future!
Today we are here to do something for Zijie's parents in a small tangible way. I hope we could provide a little comfort and help to them in Zijie's place.
Some comments from friends and colleagues below:
“Universities are supposed to be places of teaching and learning. Of research and discovery. Of sharing, comparing, collaborating and connecting. That is the life that Professor Yan lived.”
Craver Family Dean, UNC
“Professor Yan was a beloved teacher, kind mentor and a dear friend to so many on our campus. He left this world a better place for his brilliance, his commitment, and the lives he affected. That’s a life well lived, and a life ended far, far too soon.”
“We were classmates with Zijie at RPI, and he has consistently demonstrated kindness and selflessness from the moment we arrived at the institution, extending even beyond our graduation. Zijie was not only exceptional in terms of academic and research achievements but also possessed a beautiful heart. Throughout our studies at RPI, Zijie was invariably the first person one could turn to for discussions on academic matters. He generously shared his insights with his peers and always prioritized a deep understanding of the subjects over merely striving for high grades.
His sincere passion for nanoscience and the pursuit of fundamental knowledge paved the way for an impressive achievement - he managed to publish an impressive 17 papers on nanoscience during his time at RPI and completed his PhD within just three years of graduate studies. Beyond his academic prowess, Zijie also revealed himself as a talented chef, readily sharing lunches with friends at a time when many of us were still learning to cook.
Graduating early didn't create a distance between Zijie and his peers; rather, it brought us closer together. He continued to be generously available, offering valuable career advice and sharing personal experiences whenever we sought his assistance. Remaining lifelong friends with Zijie is indeed a fortune, and his absence is deeply felt not only by his friends but also by the entire research community. We will forever miss his radiant smile and his quiet yet undeniably kind presence.”
– Yanping and Meng, RPI Alumni
"Yan is a smart student, but also a nice and easy-going friend. He is a go-to person to ask when they cannot solve problems for their classes or courses in RPI and Yan is alway available to help out. Yan finished his PhD much earlier than his peers/classmates and set up a model for them. Outside campus, Yan has spent a lot of time cooking, hiking, and watching movies with his friends and roommates to enjoy life together. He is willing to help his friends when they have challenges in their daily life. We are so sad to lose him."