Letter from Dr. Alfred E. Stearns to Mr. Arthur G. Robinson, January 20, 1926


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Letter from Dr. Alfred E. Stearns to Mr. Arthur G. Robinson, January 20, 1926


Letter from Dr. Alfred E. Stearns to Mr. Arthur G. Robinson, January 20, 1926


Typed letter sent from Dr. Alfred E. Stearns to Arthur G. Robinson. Discusses Mary and Tom Sun's future education. States Tom wants to attend Wharton School of Business Administration at University of Pennsylvania. Is unsure if Tom can keep as his progress has been slow. States Mary is currently taking general courses to obtain her diploma. Explains her father sent a message to prepare her college, which will cause upheaval in her schooling. Provides updates on Arthur and Charlie. States Arthur is almost finished at Massachusetts Tech. States Charlie is a freshman at Amherst College. Provides updates on Frank Lin and Quincey Sheh. Unsure of what to do in the cases of Tom and Mary Sun. Accepts Robinson's offer to discuss matters directly with Mr. C.Y. Sun.


January 29, 1926
Mr. Arthur C. Robinson
60 Recreation Road
Tientsin, China

My dear Mr. Robinson:

I deeply appreciate the cases of Tom and Mary Sun are a bit puzzling to me. Tom wishes to enter the Wharton School of Business Administration at the University of Pennsylvania, but I am inclined to think that his brothers believe that his motives are not of the highest. Whether Tom can gain admission to the ordinary college and carry successfully the load which such a college demands, I don’t know. It is difficult to tell how far Tom’s slow progress in his school work is due to lack of ability and how much to lack of concentration and a compelling purpose. Frankly I am a bit disturbed to know just what course should be mapped out for the boy after he complete his work with us at the end of the current school year. His progress has been slow from the start, even though he has regularly invested much of his summer in tutoring schools.

Mary is a hard worker and has good ability along some lines. Some of her present teachers, however, are inclined to doute the wisdom of sending her to college. Up to the present time she has been taking a general course with the idea of securing a good school diploma and with the further belief on my part that this must round out her American education. A cablegram received only a few days ago from Mr. Sun, and in answer to a long letter from me in which I sought to outline clearly the nature of the problem, instructs me to have Mary prepared for college. This means a change of course and probably a change of school, and I am confident that Mary is going to be very much distressed at this prospect. I have not broken the news. To her yet, since I felt that I must first find out what the possibilities are in a case a change is made at this time. Needless to say I am making inquires in various directions to secure the desired ate.

Arthur is rounding out his course at Massachusettes Tech, after many stumbles and a pretty hard struggle. Charlie is a freshman at Amherst College, where he is already getting a good grasp on his work and where I am sure his record will be one of steady advancement and in every way credible. Frank Lin is also still struggling with the Tech load, his work having always come hard for him; while Quincey Sheh is making an exceptionally fine record Bowdoin College. All of these facts have been reported to Mr. Sun, but I must admist that I am still puzzled over the problems furnished by Tom and Mary. I believe that you will be able to get a pretty clear picture of the situation as I see it if you will let Mr. Sun show you my recent letters to him. Of course there are colleages and colleges in America, as you know, and the standards vary widely. Mary is disposed to think that a college degree alone, regardless of its quality, will satisfy her father’s wishes. My own natural feeling is that instructions from Mr. Sun to prepare Mary for colleges naturally mean a college of the first rank. If that is the case, an added year of preparation will probably still be required.

You see I am accepting your invitation at its face value, and I shall certainly be glad to get direct advices through you from Mr. Sun, with whom I hope you will be able to talk matters over frankly and fully before you start for America. In the meantime, I shall undoubtedly have been compelled to reach some kind of a decision, and I can only hope that decision will be wise and as nearly as possible in accord with Mr.Sun’s personal desires.

With warm personal regards,
Believe me

Very sincerely yours.


Dr. Alfred E. Stearns


Phillips Academy


January 20, 1926


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