Rangoon University

RU [61]


Dr. Tha Hla

  • Ph.D. in Geology in UK
  • First native Professor at the Department of Geology.
  • Served as Interim Dean of Engineering.
  • Served as Rector, Rangoon University.
  • Retired after serving as UN Advisor in several countries.
  • Found jobs for several Burmese expatriates in Thailand.
  • Known for his discipline and integrity.
  • U Thadu, famous writer & director, tried to get “concession” from the Film Censor Board. Saya refused. U Thadu had to resubmit the film. U Thadu was surprised to learn that his movie received the Academy award (with the “blessing” of Saya). Saya told U Thadu that the two incidents are different, and that he had no grudge or bias.
  • Gave lessons on drinking.
    Told his guests, “You can choose whiskey, beer or any drink from the cabinets, but don’t let ‘Ah Yet’ become your master. Don’t add water/soda in the whiskey if you want good taste.”
  • Led by example.
    Saya’s jeep drove to meet the rowdy students trying to follow Ajala, the Nigerian agitator and was able to calm them.
  • Fought for his colleagues and students.
    When a Minister (in charge of the State Scholar Board) tried to “blacklist” is student Dr. Nyi Nyi for his political views, Saya offered to resign if his student was “punished”. During the minister’s trip overseas, the State Scholar Board selected Dr. Nyi Nyi.

Dr. Maung Thein

  • Informed his students (including Ko Soe Myint) about the Computer Science degree courses being offered at UCC (under the aegis of RU Mathematics Department) and encouraged them to study Computer Science and Applications.
  • Transferred to Mandalay University. He asked Ko Soe Myint and me to give lectures for his staff (during the summer vacation). We overheard some young sayas thinking out loud, “Why is Saya Thein asking the two UCC guys to waste our free time?”
  • Became Professor at RASU. He asked UCC to conduct a short course at Mandalay Hall. Ko Soe Myint, I and a few others ran the course. Rumors spread that a young Minthamee from UCC would be teaching. Wonder what the reaction was when Pale Shein (Pearl), daughter of soccer star Kenneth Shein, showed up.

U Ba Maw

  • Met Saya U Ba Maw, a lecturer, during our short course conducted at MASU.
  • Learned that U Ba Maw was being chastised by the higher authorities for collaborating research with foreigners. U Ba Maw and his students came cross ancient fossils (of Ramapiticus …) during their survey trip near Kyaukse. A US researcher, who heard the news, flew in to Burma, took photos and published about U Ba Maw’s findings. The news broke to US magazines (Time and/or Newsweek).

Dr. Nyi Nyi

  • Protege of Dr. Tha Hla
  • Served as Deputy Minister of Education
  • Chair, UCC Project Implementation
  • Retired after working for UN
  • Pen name : Oak Aw

U Ba Than Haq

  • Served as Professor.
  • Retired as Pro-Rector.


  • Geology offered “Gems” specialization.
    U Khin Maung Lay (GBNF) was an early graduate with the specialization.
  • Geology Department offered Diploma in Applied Geology (DAG) in the Thamaing Campus.
  • U Soe Myint (UCC) and Daw Win Win Than (UCC) studied Geology and Computer Science.

RIT aspect

  • According to U Aw Taik Moh (C54), the Civil Engineering students (living in Prome Hall) had to go to the main Campus to take Geology. Since the students were late and did not pay attention, most of them ended up with C or C-
  • RIT had Geology as a supporting department.
  • U Ngwe Thein was Head of Geology.
  • I had a micro-reunion with Saya [Maung] San (who supposedly shopped at the Junior section at a Departmental Store in London during his studies in the UK) at SPZP-2012. He worked at RIT and in Bangkok.

Categories: Rangoon University

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s