Frederick Tse-shyang Chen, 85, of Hamden, Professor of Law Emeritus at Quinnipiac University School of Law and beloved husband, father and grandfather, died Thursday, June 3 of lung cancer and Covid. The eldest son of Wei-fu Chen and Soo-chin Wen Chen, he was born in Nanjing, China on January 10, 1936 and came from a revolutionary family in China. His grandfather, Chen Qi-mei, was one of the leaders in the 1911 revolution which created the Republic of China. His uncles, Chen Guo-fu and Chen Li-fu, under Chiang Kai-shek, continued the family’s involvement in Chinese politics.
During his boyhood, his family was displaced may times due to the Second Sino-Japanese War and then the conflict between the Nationalist government and Communists. Despite frequent disruptions to his formal education, he maintained a fervent commitment to his studies. In the first semester of 7th grade alone, he fled from Nanjing to Shanghai and eventually to Xiamen. Even as civil unrest forced the rest of his family to flee to Hong Kong, he remained behind in order to sit for his 7th grade exams. In 1948 he left China for Hong Kong and then Taiwan, where he attended high school and college. After earning an LL.B. degree from Soochow University School of Law in 1958, he completed mandatory military service in the army. As a college student, he represented Taiwan at international youth conferences in the United States, Japan and Korea.
In 1960 he came to the United States to study with Professors Myres McDougal and Harold Lasswell at Yale Law School, from which he earned an LL.M. degree in 1961. He later earned a J.D. degree from The University of Chicago School of Law. In 1966 he decided to teach law in the U.S. and became the first student from Taiwan ever to be a tenure track assistant professor of law in this country. Over the course of his career he taught at the law schools of Drake University, Ohio Northern University, Catholic University of America, Texas Tech University, University of Wyoming and Quinnipiac University. He lectured at Chuo University Law School in Japan and served as Visiting Professor at Japan Institute of Comparative Law and Visiting Professor of Law at National Chengchi University in Taiwan. From 1993-95, he was Dean of Soochow University Law School. He served as Advisor of the Ministry of Finance, Republic of China. After retirement he continued to travel to China, Taiwan, and England to carry out research until the Covid pandemic prevented his travels and illness inhibited his ability to write. Throughout his career, he enjoyed traveling, learning about diverse cultures and visiting family, friends and colleagues across the globe.
He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Belinda; his daughters, Christina Paul of Westport and Alyssa Walker of Pomfret; his sons-in-law Matthew Paul and Harold Walker; his beloved grandchildren, William, Sawyer, Cooper, and Henry Paul and Halliway and Northup Walker; his brother Tse-tseng Chen of Shanghai; twelve nieces and nephews and many cousins.
He is predeceased by his sisters, Anita Lee and Cecilia Meng, brother Tse Chen and niece Erika Meng.
There will be a private family service.
Memorial contributions may be made to Quinnipiac University School of Law at www.qu.edu/givelaw or Quinnipiac Office of Development and Alumni Affairs, 275 Mount Carmel Avenue, Hamden, CT06518-1908.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Frederick Tse-shyang Chen, please visit our floral store.