Yang Shixian (1897-1985), was born in Hangzhou on the 8th January, 1897. He was a famous chemist and educator. From 1949 to 1950, he served as Chairman of the Nankai University Council. From 1957 to 1969 and 1979 to 1981, he served as president of Nankai University.
Yang was admitted to Tsinghua University in 1910, and studied in the United States twice, in 1918 and 1929. He majored in chemistry at Cornell University and Yale University, and obtained a PhD at the latter in 1931. After returning to China, he was employed by Nankai University, successively serving as dean, president and honorary president. He was also elected as a delegate at the First to the Fifth National People's Congresses and as a member of the Standing Committee of the Fifth and Sixth National Committees of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. He served as a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Director of the Division of Chemistry, the leader of the Department of Chemistry in the State Scientific and Technological Commission, Chairman of the Chinese Chemical Society, Vice Chairman of the China Association for Science and Technology, and Chairman of the Tianjin Association for Science and Technology. Yang participated in the China Association for Promoting Democracy in 1953 and as Chairperson for Tianjin. In 1960, he joined the Communist Party of China.