The modern xuefu 学府

DSCN8819The institutions of higher learning in China are in the 大跃进 great leap forward mood as well. They merge with other neighboring colleges and they make connection of any kind with foreign universities. They spend handsomely on celebration of milestones. Renda Fu just put on a lavish show for its 60th on August 7th this past summer. One university, Shanda was founded by my great granduncle 109 years ago. So they’re looking for his descendants as they’re preparing to celebrate its 110 next Oct.
I had contacted this university few years ago in hope of finding more details about my ancestors (the great granduncle’s younger bro also served as president after he stepped down). The university didn’t entertain me back then. My gut feel’s they didn’t have the energy nor financial mean to consider this. They just ignored me. Now the situation is different. They’re looking.

Alan, a retired NASA engineer is the grandson of founder who has recently signed on with a state university in the south in USA to recruit more foreign students. As if happened, I got in touch with him out of blue just when he was visiting China. So he quickly made detour and accommodate a visit to Shanda this April from Xiamen. Along with the state university president with him. Few weeks after the visit, he wrote

.. .. I have not heard from them and may be they are disappointed with me since I did not bring a big donation back to [them] like my grandfather did! I did bring a State University there but I think they are looking for Harvard or Stanford. That I am afraid I cannot help.

Feeling cold.

We manged a quick meet at Newark airport as he was passing by. He marveled at the wealth the ordinary China weld nowadays.
“There is a huge pool of students who failed the entrance exam for getting into a decent university in China but whose parents are wealth enough to sent them to the West.” The best students would go to Beijing or Qinghua university .. the lesser ones would come to study in the USA, paying full sticker price.
Both sides are happy.

About The Kibbitzer

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