Letter from Dr. Alfred E. Stearns to C.Y. Sun, December 18, 1926


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Letter from Dr. Alfred E. Stearns to C.Y. Sun, December 18, 1926


Letter from Dr. Alfred E. Stearns to C.Y. Sun, December 18, 1926


Typed letter sent from Dr. Alfred E. Stearns to C.Y. Sun. Provides updates on the Sun children and Quincy Sheh. Includes current accounts. States he is worried about Tom and Mary. Believes Tom will have difficulty gaining admission to Wharton Business School next September. Explains Mary's current courses were based on her obtaining a diploma and returning to China. States in order to prepare her college would require a change in schools and/or additional coursework. Asks for clarification on Sun's intentions for Mary's education.


December 15, 1925
44 Cambridge Road
Tientsin, China

My dear Mr.Sun:

I am herewith a statement of the accounts of your children and Quicey She up to the first of the current December.
You will not that Arthur is keeping well within the limits; Quicey She likewise; and Charles to an excellent degree, even though the first expenses in college are apt to be a bit exacting. Mary’s account runs a good deal ahead of what it used to be when she lived at the house, but that is natural since regular boarding school charges in these days are high, even in those schools like Abbot Academy which do not claim to be among the most expensive. Thomas, I think, is doing better, but it is stills somewhat difficult for him to accept the pinch of real restraint in his expenditures.

As to the work of the various members of the group, I am frank to say that all of them at present seem to be working with excellent spirit. Probably the best record to date has been made by Quincy She at Bowdoin College. My only fear is that he may overwork, and I have cautioned him strongly on this point. I have also asked the new physical director at Bowdoin, an old Andover boy and a warm personal friend of mine, to take special interest in Quincy’s case and give him much good counsel and help as he can. Charles is making an excellent start at Amherst, though he is disposed to feel a bit discouraged about some of his work. That, I think, is only natural for a freshman facing the new surroundings of college life, and especially when that freshman happens to be a foreigner. Charles has proved in every way to so faithful and dependable that I am not at all worried about his future.

The two cases that trouble me most just now are those of Thomas and Mary. I am writing this morning to the University of Pennsylvania to see if some credit for admission cannot be allowed Tommy the basis of his Chinese studies in the past. Otherwise I am afraid he will find a bit difficult to gain admission to the Wharton Business School, as he hopes to do next September. A business course seems just now to be probably the best thing for Tom to aim at and that which is most likely fit in with his individual abilities and needs.

Mary furnishes the real problem just now. Following what I understood to be your personal wishes, Mary has been taking the general course at Abbot Academy, with the chief aim that of securing a degree and on the supposition that this would round out her education in America. During recent months I have been hearing muffled comments from Arthur and Mary, and I think, too, from her other brothers, to the effect that you had now decided that Mary was to go to college. Mary had hoped to study nursing or something of this kind a little later, though she had always intimated that she expected to teach when she got back to China. The college proposition, if it actually represents your views, throws the present machinery all out of joint, for the course which Mary is now taking does not admit to our American colleges and if colleges is to be the next goal, there must be an immediate and complete readjustment and very probably another year of preparation. Before attempting anything o radical as thing, I am very anxious to have your personal and definite authorization. Please write me fully and frankly just what you desire me to do under the circumstances, for I don’t feel justified in undertaking anything quite so radical without full authority from you. If I can discover from Arthur or Mary before receiving a reply to this letter sufficient evidence to assure me that this is really your last and definite purpose, I shall be tempted to make an immediate readjustment which can go into effect at the opening of the next term, some two weeks hence. This would involve a change of school and courses, a pretty radical step but seemingly necessary under the circumstances. I hope to see Arthur within the next few days and shall ask him to please at my disposal all the information he has received from you that bears upon the problem in this new and somewhat unexpected phase.
I hope to have all the boys out here for a day or two of the Christmas holidays, in any case, and only wish that my house arrangements were such at present that I could take care of them for the entire holiday season. This, unfortunately, is impossible, though Mary, who returned from school yesterday, will make her headquarters with me until the new term begins early next month.

Hoping to hear from you soon and with my heartiest greetings for the new year on which you will soon be entering, believe me

with warm personal regards
Very sincerely yours


Dr. Alfred E. Stearns


Phillips Academy


December 18, 1926


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