Teh-Kuang Chang works in a corner office in North Quad, surrounded
by books and piles of file folders. The area looks lived in -which
fits. The political science professor is celebrating his 90th
birthday on Sept.15. He'S spent 49 of those years as a Ball State
Chang won't be traveling far for his birthday celebration. On
Tuesday, he'll take a moment to celebrate his years of
accomplishments with a birthday party at Cardinal Hall in the LA.
Pittenger Student Center.
Chang has devoted his entire life to international study, his
students and the values of his adopted nation: life, liberty and the
pursuit of happiness a concept he used to teach in his American
National Government class.
Chang was born in 1925 in Changtin& a county in the southeastern
Chinese province of Fujian. He learned the English language and came
to the United States with a bachelor's degree in 1956 to finish his
He joined Ball State's staff after earning his doctorate in
international relations, and soon began carving out a legacy for
himself by initiating the International, Asian, Latin American and
African studies programs.
In 1996, Chang traveled to Africa for three weeks with a group of
students to tour parts of the continent and learn about its
political system. There, he presented Desmond Tutu, a civil rights
activist and former archbishop of Cape Town with an award for
promoting peace and education.
Significant names spill from Chants mouth as easily as some people
talk about the weather.
He's come into contact with presidents and princes from all over the
world, including U.S. presidents Lyndon B.Johnson and Richard Nixon.
He even spoke at the White House during Ronald Reagan's presidency.
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama recently sent
Chang a birthday card. He also received a handwritten birthday
scroll from President Ma, the leader of the Republic of China. It's
already proudly displayed in front of one of Chants bursting
President Paul W. Ferguson has also acknowledged Chang's
"1 marveled at his contagious enthusiasm for life and the commitment
to living that life well," Ferguson said in Chang's memoir, "The
Rainbow of Life: Around the World in 90 Years for Academ". 50 Years
Teaching at Ball State University."
In addition to a successful career, Chang also raised four children,
who have found their own purposes in life. His daughters Angelin,
Angel and Angelina have forged careers in music, fashion and health,
which have earned them Grammy awards and international recognition.
Chang's only son, Angelo works in the White House with President
Obama as a diplomat.
After almost 50 years of teaching, Chang has one piece of advice for
"Going to school for a grade is of no use. if you don't have
knowledge." he said. "You must learn knowledge, study hard and
practice. Learn one thing, get inspiration and then spread your