Daniel Song Memorial Scholarship Established

Through the generosity of Ping and Daphne Song, the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering has received an endowment to establish the Daniel Song Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship celebrates the life of the Songs’ son, Daniel. A 2008 graduate of the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, Daniel lost his life in an automobile accident December 20, 2008, while returning to campus to participate in graduation ceremonies the following day.

“Daniel was a very likeable student; full of ambition, talent and with a goodly dose of humor,” said George Wodicka, professor and head of the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering. “He will always have a special place in the memories of the Weldon School family.”

Daniel came to the U.S. from China at age six. From an early age he enjoyed science and sports, especially swimming. As a youngster, he participated in the school science fair. He earned money for college by mowing lawns, working at a grocery store, and serving as a lifeguard. He enjoyed traveling across the United States, visiting many National Parks and cities along the way. His father attests that he loved his life in America so much that he joked with his parents that if they ever moved back to China he would ask to be adopted by his friend’s family.

At Purdue, Daniel participated in the 2006 Student Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program and performed additional biomechanical undergraduate research in the summer of 2007.  He was active in the Purdue Engineering Student Council and helped to organize a variety of outreach activities. In spring, 2008, Daniel was a member of the inTENSE senior design team that developed a programmable tendon bioreactor to provide additional therapeutic alternatives to individuals with a compromised tendon. The team presented the project at the senior design forum on May 2, 2008, and won the Top Senior Design Team Award.

Truda Strange, Daniel’s undergraduate academic advisor, remembers him well. “I always looked forward to seeing Daniel because he was always in such a good mood and always wore a smile,” Strange said. He had such a positive attitude and was so proud to be a student in our program. He wore Purdue and BME proudly.”

Because the Weldon School is relatively young, graduating its first class of undergraduates in May 2007, the alumni base from which many scholarships arise is still comparatively small. Scholarships are critical for helping students attend college who may not otherwise be able to. It is also a way to honor the memory of someone special.

“He is a part of our life and only child, and we miss him every single day,” said Ping Song on the reasons he and Daphne Song established the scholarship in Daniel’s name. “He touched a lot of people in his very short life. He was a responsible, dedicated, enthusiastic young man. We wanted to keep his memory alive forever, if possible, and inspire similar qualities in college students who are as equally driven to succeed.”  

You can help keep the memory of Daniel alive, while providing a life-changing opportunity for Weldon students, by supporting this scholarship fund. Click here to support the Daniel Song Memorial Scholarship fund.

For more information about giving to the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, contact:

Brian Knoy, Director of Development, at bjknoy@purdue.edu or (765) 494-6241.