Students from China at the College of Saint Benedict


Ina Chang

The first Chinese overseas students at CSB were Lucy Chung (Chung Shu-ch’i) and Florence Chi (Chi Chih-t’ing), from Beijing (Romanized Peking), China. They arrived in 1930 and graduated in 1932. They entered CSB as juniors, as they both had a BA degree from the Teachers’ College for Women of the National University of Peking. They wanted to come to improve their English and supplement their other learning. They were chosen by the Benedictine Fathers at The Catholic University of Peking. 

Teresa Ching (CSB ’34) and Ina Chang (CSB ’34) quickly followed. Sister Francetta Vetter, the superior of the Benedictine Sisters’ mission in China, sent a letter to Saint Benedict's, highly recommending that Ching attend CSB, as she was Catholic and would be a good influence on her predecessors: “I think Miss Ching will have wonderful influence on Lucy and Florence and maybe she will take all the Protestantism out of them.”  These early students made connections through the Chinese Club as well as joining other College organizations.   

Sisters from Saint Benedict's Monastery first went to China in 1930. After Pearl Harbor, they were interned as prisoners of war until 1945.  A few years later they fled the Communist revolution and settled in Taiwan. Their influence there is seen in the arrival of Taiwanese students including Agnes and Vivienne Chang and Alice Liu in 1952, and Sophia Yung ('57), Maria Kuan ('59) and Lily Chiang, who later became Sister Benita OSB ('60).   Students from Hong Kong, such as Daisy Tsui ('53), also began arriving in the 1950s. As numbers of students from China grew in the early 21st century, many shared their culture with their new college friends through student organizations such as the Chinese Club, the Asian Students Association, and the International Students Club.  The College of Saint Benedict has hosted the Festival of Cultures since 1999, offering a showcase for international students including those from China.  

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1956 Yearbook photo of CSB students and monastery postulants, including Elizabeth Kuan of China and Lily Chiang of Taiwan in the first row, on the far right. 

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Asian Student Association members, 1994

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International Students Club, 1989

Students from China at the College of Saint Benedict