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University of Chicago to Award Doctorate to Slain Student

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The University of Chicago will grant a posthumous doctorate to a financial economics student who was killed in a random shooting in January. 

Yiran Fan, 30, had his dream of earning a Ph.D. from the prestigious university cut short on January 9 when he died in a parking garage on South East End Avenue. However, his colleagues took it upon themselves to make Fan’s dream come true.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported that Professors Zhingo He and Lars Hansen were able to get their late friend’s Dropbox account password, which gave them access to his dissertation on bank behavior and lending. 

Getting the Ph.D

After reading through Fan’s research, a couple of his professors decided to defend his dissertation so he would be awarded his doctoral degree. Hansen and He, along with Professor Veronica Guerrieri and Assistant Professor Doron Ravid divided the tasks among themselves and successfully defended Fan’s paper.

“Lars and I split the work. I did one paper. He did the other paper,” said He, who was Fan’s classmate and fellow teaching assistant.

The university stated that there was no special treatment involved. Despite the noble cause, the four professors still had to face the same rigorous process that every other University of Chicago student goes through.

“The University of Chicago has very rigorous standards, and I want to assure anyone that the standards are not being lowered for Yiran. If anyone deserves getting a Ph.D., it’s absolutely Yiran,” said Nishant Vats, Fan’s friend and classmate

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