Letter from H.B. Wells, vice-president of Burdett College to Dr. Alfred E. Stearns, January 12, 1931


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Letter from H.B. Wells, vice-president of Burdett College to Dr. Alfred E. Stearns, January 12, 1931


Letter from H.B. Wells, vice-president of Burdett College to Dr. Alfred E. Stearns, January 12, 1931


Typed letter sent from H.B. Wells, vice-president of Burdett College to Dr. Alfred E. Stearns. Provides details on the evaulation of Kong Y. Tu. States Tu is unwilling to concentrate and only focuses on subjects he takes to naturally. States the college would normally ask Tu to withdraw, but believes Tu has the ability and background to overcome his difficulties. Developed a planned schedule Tu will have to adhere to. Will report to Stearns directly on Tu's progress. Enclosed copy of plan.


Phillips Academy
Andover, Massachusetts

Dear Dr. Steams:

Mr. Smith has shown me your letter with regard to Kong Y. Tu, and in reply let me first express our appreciation for your confidence in recommending that he attend Burdett College.

In the past we have had a number of Chinese students, all of whom have distinguished themselves by their intellectual grasp of the instruction and subject matter. Their attitude was usually all that could be desired. Mr. Tu has been an exception. He is somewhat of a problem, but one, despite our discouragements, that we are not, as yet, inclined to admit as impossible.

Mr. Tu seems unwilling to concentrate. He is generally inattentive in class and has been, in some instances, disrespectful to instructors. Furthermore, he demonstrates a tendency not to work seriously upon the subjects that he does not take to naturally. Two minor subjects, penmanship and typewriting, have enlisted his interest and in both he has done fair work.

In the ordinary course of events, we would some time ago have asked him to withdraw, but we believe he has both the ability and background and if we can, through appeal or otherwise, awaken a desire within him, we can help him overcome most of his difficulties. In that attempt, we have resorted to appeal, to inspiration, and to the setting up of a definite requirement as to objective, but our efforts so far have not brought the result that we wish.

Today, as a final endeavor, we are starting upon a plan which in conference we have explained to him. In this endeavor, he is to be put upon a basis where he will be subjected to the direct supervision of his department head and three school officers. We have taken the rather unusual step of attempting to enter into an agreement with him, the salient features of which are that he will accept a schedule of hours comparable to those observed in a business day and that he will remain after school hours under definite supervision.

The program we have outlined for him is enclosed, and he has agreed that upon its presentation in the morning he will sign it. We are taking this rather extraordinary step because there is that element in the character of the pure Chinese whereby once having made an agreement, the conditions of the agreement are ordinarily carried out. We do not know whether this will work out successfully or not, but we shall try it.

Conferences with Mr. Tu have been numerous. Each time he admits his fault and indicates a willingness to make correction. Sometimes he has shown resentment toward the attempts we have made to hold him to a requirement. He has now promised that his attitude will be different with respect to the enclosed schedule.

This report is somewhat detailed — more so than I had intended it to be — but your interest in the case has been the reason for it. Had we known the extent of your interest, we would have submitted a report earlier. Mr. Tu has received such reports as are regularly issued, and we understood that he had conferred with you with regard to his marks and his progress. We shall, however, from this point on report directly to you upon all matters relating to him and his work here.

Again may we express appreciation to you for your interest in writing us.

Sincerely yours,
Vice President


H.B. Wells


Phillips Academy


January 12, 1931


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