Chinese Educational Mission

The first students from China to attend Andover were members of the China Educational Mission, a program sanctioned by the Chinese government under the patronage of Tseng Kuo-fan and Li Hung-chang. In four groups of thirty each, 120 boys were sent to America from 1872 to 1876 to be “thoroughly educated in the various technical professions intimately connected with the arts of war”1. Carefully selected youths between the ages of twelve and sixteen were chosen to remain in the U.S. for fifteen years, at the end of which time, they were to return to China to spend their lives in service to the government.

The program was begun after China suffered several humiliating military defeats at the hands of foreigners. China realized that without modern weapons and a system of transportation to move troops and supplies quickly that it would be at the mercy of any aggressive nation that chose to attack. However, those defeats were soon forgotten and westernization became unpopular once more at Court. By 1881, the conservatives were able to end the C.E.M. program and recall all of the students from their studies.

Andover’s first Chinese students were eleven boys from the C.E.M. program.

Hon Yen Chang became America’s first Chinese lawyer.
Yuen Fai Lin and Ting Liang Ho both became doctors.
Chang Ling Chow and Pi Yuk Liang both were knighted by the
Queen. Liang Pi Yuk (later known as Sir Chentung Liang Cheng) became Chinese Ambassador to the U.S. 1903-1907.
Ying Fo Woo rose to the rank of admiral in the Chinese navy.
Sui Nan Yang was an officer in the Chinese navy
Yuen Shing Lin worked in the Telegraph Service.
Yuk Lin Liu and Sih Chu Chu worked in the Diplomatic Service.
Chuck Yen Chi died at an early age.