Letter from Dr. Alfred E. Stearns to K.C. Li, January 24, 1918


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Letter from Dr. Alfred E. Stearns to K.C. Li, January 24, 1918


Letter from Dr. Alfred E. Stearns to K.C. Li, January 24, 1918


Typed letter from Dr. Alfred E. Stearns to K.C. Li informing him of the arrival of Mr. Liang and two others. Given Mr. Liang's English ability, he does qualify for first-year courses; whereas, Mr. Liang's two associates' lack of English limit their options at Phillips Academy. Advises Li that the boys require private tutors in order to continue their education at Phillips Academy.


24 January, 1918
Mr. K.C.Li
4904 Woolworth Building
New York City

My dear sir:

On my return to Andover last evening, I found on my desk your letter of January 22nd, also a postal and telegram from Mr. Liang. Mr. Liang’s message advised me that he and his two friends would reach Andover on Tuesday evening, or some time Wednesday. They appeared last night; but as I was out of town at the time I was not able to see them until this morning. They have just left my office after talking over their situation with me.

From all I can gather Mr.Liang, or I think it is he, for he is the one who wrote me, seems qualified to do the work of our lowest or first-year class. The other two boys both through their lack of knowledge of the English language as well as of the subject matter required for our work are clearly unprepared for any of the work provided by our school curriculum. On the basis of my experience with many other Chinese boys in recent years who have come here under almost identical conditions I believe that there boys will process far more rapidly if they are placed for the balance of the year in some small home school where they will be compelled to talk English and can study English to the fullest extent. Possibly something in the way of a modern language or of mathematics might me attempted in this period. But the main stress should be laid on English. By rounding out the current school year in this way they ought to be able to return to us next fall with good prospects of making a success of their school work here. Some of our best students in the senior class of the current year are Chinese boys who went through exactly this same experience when they first came to the country.

The other proposition would be the one suggested by you, - namely to have the boys remain in Andover and tutor outside of the regular school regime. I think, but I cannot promise, that tutors can be found for this work. Our own men as a rule are extremely busy, and would not in consequence be able to devote as much time to the boys as they would require. What they need more than book work is to be placed under conditions where they would be forced to think and work in English from morning until night. Only in this way could they escape the natural handicaps they would face when they came to tackle other subjects later with a too-limited knowledge of the English language. I shall be glad to do what I can to provide tutors for the boys, if the latter plan in deemed by you the one to pursue. I think too that it will be possible to find satisfactory accommodations for them in the town; for under the circumstances our regularions would not permit them to reside in any of the regular school buildings. My strong conviction is that it will be better and more satisfactory in every way for the boys to enter such a school as I have mentioned above. In case you agree with me, I shall be only too glad to make recommendations which will be based on the experiences of the past.

I have asked the boys to wait here until I can hear from you further, so I trust you will find it possible to answer promptly. Under separate cover I am mailing you one of our catalogues so that you may have full information before you in regard to the school, the extent and character of its courses, expenses, accommodations, etc. Boys who enter at this time of year are charged on a pro rate bass from the date on which they enroll.

Very sincerely yours.


Dr. Alfred E. Stearns


Phillips Academy


January 24, 1918


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