Dinh Tan, a teacher who lived from 1906 to 1999, was famous in the central province of Quang Nam for training five of his grandchildren to graduate with a Doctor of Philosophy diploma granted by foreign universities.
In total, the Dinh family now has seven doctorate holders, including two daughters-in-law.
The house of the late teacher Tan is famous in Thanh Chiem Village, Dien Phuong Commune, Dien Ban District.
Local resident call it ‘the house of doctors’ and consider them the pride of the village.
The village is situated on a low plain near the northern bank of the Thu Bon River, just ten kilometers west of Hoi An.
Teacher Tan’s house is next to Thanh Chiem Palace, the residency of former Nguyen kings.
The living room of his house is decorated with many lacquered boards, commemorative signs and books donated by his students.
The residence is now the living place of three people – Dinh Trong Tuyen, Dinh Thuc Tham and Tham’s wife. Tham, 74, is Tan’s youngest son.
Dinh Ba Lam, Tan’s eldest son, passed away in 1985.
“My father taught us to be always modest and consider all of our achievements partly owing to the blessing of life and communities,” said Tuyen, Tan’s middle son.
All five doctorate holders are the children of the three full brothers, who are now working far from home and abroad.
Opening a small cabinet located in the bedroom, Tham, who is also a retired teacher, pulled out the two PhD degrees of his son, Dinh Ba Khuong, and daughter, Dinh Bao Ngoc.
Ngoc, 38, received an honorary doctorate in economics management from Grenoble University, France in 2013.
She is now dean of the department of finance at the Da Nang University of Economics in the central city of Da Nang.
Her brother Khuong, 33, is now a post-graduate student in physics at Swinburne University of Technology, Australia. His wife is an economics master, studying in Australia.
Khuong is planning to return to work for Da Nang University of Technology after completing his post-graduate course.
The third doctor of the Dinh family is Dinh Ba Truyen, 39, who is the only son of Tuyen.
Truyen has a PhD in aviation electronics. Truyen’s wife is also a doctor in construction and environment in Japan.
The man who started creating the ‘PhD heritage’ of the Dinh family is Dinh Truc Nam, 51, the first paternal grandson of the late teacher Tan, and the eldest son of Lam.
Nam is a doctor in nuclear physics and graduated in Russia.
He worked for the Ministry of Energy of Russia before moving to the U.S. to work as deputy chief of a nuclear safety center under the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Nam is now an academician working in New York.
He sets a bright example for his younger cousins to follow him in scientific studies, said Tuyen, Nam’s uncle.
Dinh Anh Tuan, 39, Nam’s full brother, is a doctor in chemistry in the U.S. and works as a lecturer at a university in San Francisco.
Tuan’s wife also holds a PhD in energy.