Letter from Alfred E. Stearns to C.Y. Sun, Tientsin May 24, 1926


Dublin Core


Letter from Alfred E. Stearns to C.Y. Sun, Tientsin May 24, 1926


Letter from Alfred E. Stearns to C.Y. Sun, Tientsin May 24, 1926


May 24, 1926
Mr. C. Y. Sun
44 Cambridge
Tientsin, China

My dear Mr. Sun

I this morning received your letter of April 31.

Mr.Sze and I have had personal conference and have continued to discuss Mary’s case and plan for her future by correspondence. Your letter seems to express your full approval of the steps which we have been taking, a bit in the dark at times, I must admit, so far as your real desires were known to us.

This morning’s mail also brings me a letter from the President of Elmira College, the college which both Mr. Sze and I decided was best fitted to meet Mary's needs, saying that after reading my letter the Committee on Admissions had decided to admit Mary on my recommendation, even though she may not be fully able to pass all of the regular entrance examinations. This is good news indeed, and the gratifying decision is no doubt due in large measure to Mr.Sze's personal influence and interest in the case. Of course for Mary's own sake it is imperative that, even though technically admitted, she should have covered as far as possible the full preparation required in order that she may not find the college work itself beyond her reach and too hard. With Mr. Sze's help, I am arranging for her to study during the summer under the direction and in the home of a competent member of the Elmira College faculty. I am sure that such a plan offers the best and most worth while kind of a summer that can be planned for Mary at Just this stage.

Now that Mary’s case has been definitely, and I believe satisfactorily, settled. I most admit that the biggest problem I have on my bands at present and the cause of my chief worry is Tom. Tom is not doing well, and our combined efforts to rouse him and make him realize just where he stands and where he is heading seen thus far to have failed. At our last faculty meeting I asked Tom's teachers for full and frank expression of opinion on Tom and his problem. All are agreed that the boy can and should do letter work. Most of them also feel, as I have come to feel, that the boy has reached the point where he is not gaining additional benefits by the school connection here but indeed gives evidences of slipping a bit. We can't possibly graduate this June. By faculty vote he has just been put on what we call probation because of his low standing and because this is the customary penalty imposed on a boy with a record like Tom's. This means that, in the judgment of the faculty, it is altogether unlikely that the boy should be allowed to go on here next year.

The more I have studied the case, the clearer I am that Tom is not yet quite ready for college and the freedom of collage , unless it be a small New England college somewhat separated from the temptations and activities of a big city. He might get into such a college next fall, but I doubt whether this would be rise. My inclination at the moment is to favor and favor rather strongly a year in a good military school, for Tom evidently needs discipline, to be made to do things accurately and on time and to obey orders promptly and without questioning - in fact to make those contacts and secure those influences which a prod military school supplies. I have been interested to find that several of my colleagues on the faculty who have known Tom most intimately share my views completely. When Mr. Robinson appears, I shall discuss the case with him fully and carefully, for I confess that I am troubled, and I must also admit that it seems out of the question for Tom to fulfill your wish that he should graduate from this school without forcing him to take another year, which would mean a good deal of repetition and a continuation of the same influences which have lately, at least, not proved stimulating to him. with the inevitable result of lessened ambition and effort on is part; and that, of course, would mean ultimate disaster and must be avoided at all costs.

I appreciate more deeply than I can tell you the friendly and generous cooperation you have so readily given me at all times and the confidence you have so generously reposed in me as I have sought to carry out your wishes for your children. Naturally I am doubly troubled when the results most desired do not come or seem to be at least delayed. At any rate, I can assure you that to whatever extent I may have failed in aiding your children to obtain the goals which you have cherished for them, there has been no lack of willingness or interest and there has always been a sharing on my part of the disappointment and regret which have naturally been years.

Believe me, with warm regards and friendliest good wishes.
Very sincerely yours.


Alfred E. Stearns


Phillips Academy


May 24, 1926


All Rights Reserved by Phillips Academy