Letter from Dr. Alfred E. Stearns to S.Y. Hu, November 29, 1920


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Letter from Dr. Alfred E. Stearns to S.Y. Hu, November 29, 1920


Letter from Dr. Alfred E. Stearns to S.Y. Hu, November 29, 1920


Typed letter from Dr. Alfred E. Stearns to S.Y. Hu expressing his regret concerning Chu and Fang's departure from Phillips Academy for private tutoring in Boston in the hopes of attending Boston University, an "easy" university Stearns feels is not academically rigorous enough. Catches Hu up on various Chinese students currently at Phillips Academy and talks briefly on the politics and government of China.


November 29, 1920
1003 Ayars Place
Evanston Illinois

My dear Mr. Hu:

Let me thank you for your most interesting letter of November 24th. The Chinese boys now here give me reports from time to time of Messrs Chu and Fan, and it is apparently the consensus of opinion that these two wanderers are making a sad mistake and are not realizing to the full, here in America, the high ideals and purposes which supposedly prompted them to come to this country. I understand they are tutoring in Boston. With whom and how ofter I cannot say, and for the purpose of entering Boston University later. While it is not my place to criticise, Boston University does not, of course, rank with our best colleges and scientific schools to which the majority of our Chinese visitors naturally look for the education desired. I cannot help feeling that Boston University, in this instance, is selected because it offers an easier read for the two boys in question.
1 have been having some correspondence recently with Dr, Paul Reinsch, who tells me that he is a close friend of Chu’s father and is interested in the boy’s American career. Dr. Reinsch was very much surprised that the boys had left Andover and I imagine that he may endeavor to use his influence to direct them sanely in their plans for the future.

The other Chinese boys here are all doing well and showing find spirit.

The Suns, as you probably know, are all members of my household. Arthur, the oldest, is doing good work at Phillips Academy. The two younger boys and their sister are attending the public schools. You have certainly sized up young Thomas when you say that he is “naughty at times”. He has a most astounding temper, which makes one fear that he may commit murder when the attack is on, but he soon gets over attacks of this kind and appears to be genuinely sorry for any damage resulting from the storm in question. I am beginning to wonder, however, whether it will not be better for these two younger boys to be separated next term and placed in schools where they will be subject to definite rules and school regulations. The reaction from the rather confined life at home seems to have been a bit too much for their immature minds, and it is a real problem to make them appreciate the fact that there are definite duties that must be done and definite rules to be obeyed in this free land to which they have so recently come.

I have read with the deepest interest what you have to say about China and her present needs. You seem to have sized up the situation very fairly and sanely, and I only wish that all of the Chinese students who have come to us could see things in the same broad light, and would act with courage and firmness towards the accomplishment of these ends, by which China alone can be saved and her future welfare assured. Unfortunately I cannot help believing that a good number of the former students, at least, have not lived up to their opportunities in helping to settle their country’s difficulties. They have been inclined to assume a position of importance and authority without being willing to give into hard work and render the unselfish service necessary to justify their position and to make possible the solution of the nation’s problems.

If you are ever in this part of the country be sure to look me up. In the mean time accept my heartiest wishes for success and happiness in your life and work. I shall doubtless be in Chicago before the year is over and in that case I shall hope to see you.

Sincerely yours.


Dr. Alfred E. Stearns


Phillips Academy


November 29, 1920


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