Letter from Alfred E. Stearns to Tsai Kuo Tsao, Tientsin, October 9, 1919

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Letter from Alfred E. Stearns to Tsai Kuo Tsao, Tientsin, October 9, 1919


Letter from Alfred E. Stearns to Tsai Kuo Tsao, Tientsin, October 9, 1919


9 October, 1919.
Mr. Tsai Kuo Tsao
5 Race Course Road
Tientsin, China.

My dear Tsai:

I am venturing to write you about a matter in which I know you will be interested, but in which I cannot tell to how great a degree you may care to participate. Let me tell my story anyway before you decide.

You have doubtless been receiving bulletins from time to time similar to those sent to all old Andover men scattered over the world, and in which you have been informal of the plans, now being completed, to launch a campaign for the sum of a million and a half dollars for the school; one third of the amount in question to go toward a manorial building for the eighty-three Andover boys who gave their lives in the war; the balance to be invested and the interest applied to teachers’ salaries. You are also doubtless aware that similar campaigns are being conducted by nearly all the leading colleges in America at this time, the necessity for such action being forced upon us by the tremendously-increased cost of living of the present day. If this is true, I hardly need to go into details explaining the methods of procedure. What I can say now is that the plans are practically completed and that the campaign itself will be started within the next few days. Already some three hundred thousand dollars are in sight, and I feel confident that the balance will come; though some hard work may be necessary in order to finish up the job.

The main piece of machinery by which the work will be carried on is that already in existence in connection with the old Alumni Fund and the various class agents who have handled that Fund for their respective classes in recent years. As the result of a recent conference in New York it was decided to supplement this piece of machinery by appointing local committees covering various sections of the country and following the lines adopted by the American Red Cross and other big organizations in their drives connected with war charities. The enclosed memorandum will indicate what we have in mind. The chairmen for these various sections have already been selected and are now at work.

I happened to mention the fact to some of our alumni who are most interested in the scheme that we had a number of boys in China and that it would be a mighty nice and significant thing if some contribution could come from that source, even if a small one. All were delighted with the suggestion and asked me to take it up with some of the boys in the far East. Your name occurred to me at once as that of the best fellow to take charge. I am wondering therefore whether you would be willing to allow us to add to the list enclosed another section, called wither the Chinese or the Eastern Division, as you prefer, and in that case if you would be willing to take charge of conducting a campaign among the fellows in that vicinity. There must be a good many of our old Chinese boys now in China. Many of them, I know, are extremely loyal to the school; some of them, I am confident, would be glad to have their names included as contributors to this big and significant fund. Personally I cannot help feeling that it would be a wonderful thing for the school if it could be announced that our students in the far East had formed a section and had joined in this undertaking. It would tend to give the school a stamp and prestige certainly unique and, in view of the school’s standing, I think deserved.

Please think this over anyway, and if you can, give us a lift. Among the older men there are several, like Mr. C. L. Chow in Hong Kong, who would gladly take hold with you, I am confident. As a matter of fact, if you follow the plan adopted by others, you will appoint a sub-committee of a few fellows scattered in various parts of China where they would be most likely to come into touch with our old Andover boys. I shall hope to send you within a few days, if I am not able to enclose it in this letter, a list of Chinese students and their addresses as we now have them.
With kindest personal regards, and trusting that you win be willing, for the sake of your old school and your old Andover friends, to Join with us in this big work, believe me always

Very sincerely yours,


Alfred E. Stearns


Phillips Academy


October 9, 1919


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