Letter from Alfred E. Stearns to Sister Mary Antony, St. Mary's School, Peekskill, New York, June 20, 1928


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Letter from Alfred E. Stearns to Sister Mary Antony, St. Mary's School, Peekskill, New York, June 20, 1928


Letter from Alfred E. Stearns to Sister Mary Antony, St. Mary's School, Peekskill, New York, June 20, 1928


My dear Sister Antony:

I have in my charge a young Chinese girl of sixteen years of age who for the past two years has been in a small home school nearby, The Whittier School at Merrimac, Mass., and for whom I am now seeking a larger school and broader contacts. Many friends of mine who have had intimate relations with St. Mary’s have unanimously urged me to place the girl with you. My only hesitancy has been the distance involved and the possible difficulty of transfers through New York, etc., on vacation trips. I am assured, however, that these are all taken care of most efficiently by the school authorities and that I need therefore give no further thought to that particular factor.

I have just been talking with the mother of one of our boys, Mrs. Arthur Griffin of New York City, and her unadulterated enthusiasm has prompted me to write you at once in order to discover whether you would have an opening for the young lady in question for the coming school year and with the understanding that, if you have, I shall be ready and glad to make a formal application for her admission. Miss Helen Tsai is the girl in question. Her father was educated in this country as a boy and is a man of wealth and scholarly tastes. He craves the very best for his daughter and son whom he has placed under my guardianship during their stay in America. Unlike most of our modern Chinese who send their children to American, he does not desire to have his daughter go to college but rather wishes her to round out her education in a finishing school of high intellectual, moral, and cultural standards.

Miss Helen Tsai is a very unusual girl and distinctly unlike most of the Chinese whom it has been my privilege to know in recent years. She is ambitious, unselfish, abounding in in life, vigor, and humor, and exceptionally adaptable. Wherever she goes, she invariably makes friends and seems equally popular with old and young alike. I can commend her in every way, and largely because of her rather unusual qualities and promise I crave for her more than ever the best school and the best influences that can be found.

I realize that it is somewhat late to make application for admission to a school as popular as yours, but I am still hoping that you may be able to find a way to admit this unusual and promising candidate from the other side of the world. Miss Tsai’s father has placed in my hands ample funds to provide for the education of his children and has made me their guardian during their stay in this country. You may hold me responsible, therefore, for the financial obligations involved.

If it is not too much trouble, may I ask you to wire me collect whether I can hope for a chance to place Miss Tsai with you next fall.

Very sincerely yours,


Alfred E. Stearns


All Rights Reserved By Phillips Academy


June 20, 1928


All Rights Reserved By Phillips Academy