Some CSB Alums

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Rachel and Ruth Liu at CSB in 1936

Rachel Liu and Ruth Liu

Rachel and Ruth Liu were twins who came to CSB from Beijing (Peking), China. They graduated in 1940. 

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Rachel Liu Senior Photo (1940)

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Rachel Chi-quang Liu (CSB '40) in 1989

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Rachel Liu and the Quarterly

Rachel Chi-quang Liu (CSB '40)

Rachel Liu came to the College of Saint Benedict in 1936 with her twin sister Ruth Liu at the suggestion of the Sisters who were teaching at the Middle High School of fu Jen Catholic University (often referred to as The Catholic University of Peking). Rachel was on the Quarterly staff and among its Scribes and Critics. She returned to China following graduation in May 1940. In 1941, Rachel began teaching English at The School of Gentleness, a Presbyterian school for girls in Beijing, China. From 1944-1946, she taught at the women’s college at The Catholic University of Peking. In 1948, Rachel Liu returned to The Catholic University of Peking to teach English until the government shut it down in 1956 and placed all professors connected to the University in solitary confinement. Rachel spent three months in solitary confinement. Eventually released, she went on to teach at the Beijing Institute of Foreign Trade (now the University of International Business and Economics). It was through this institution that she was able to travel to the United States as a part of an exchange program, where she taught at the American Graduate School of International Management (now Arizona State University's Thunderbird School of Global Management) in Glendale, Arizona.

Throughout the years, Rachel’s home became an essential stop to make when studying abroad in China. Rachel would recommend hotels, restaurants, banks, and post offices. Sisters Kuan and Anderson visited Rachel during their tours of China in 1980, 1981, and 1982. 

Rachel Chi-quang Liu came back to the CSB campus for the first time in 1989, 40 years after graduation. During her 1989 interview at CSB, she gave her perspective on the recent unrest in China. The government had promised higher salaries for teachers, but it did not happen. Because of this, teachers had to work multiple jobs to survive, and students lived in cramped rooms with 6-8 people. Student demonstrations had just begun when she left. There was no blood shed at these demonstrations. Four days after her interview, the Tiananmen Square Massacre occurred, on June 4, 1989. The students just wanted people’s lives to improve. Rachel’s son Xiao Guang Liu graduated SJU in December 1987 and her grandson Ming Liu started at Saint John’s Prep School in 1997. Rachel Chi-quang Liu died in September 2001.

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Ruth Chi-ming Liu Senior Photo (1940)

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Meeting with Sister Nancy Hynes and Kaarin Johnston, in China, 1997.

Ruth Chi-ming Liu (CSB '40)

Ruth Liu entered CSB in 1936 and graduated in December 1939 with a degree in biology. She was the senior class treasurer and was noted as a good technician. In 1941, she entered the Peking Union Medical College to work for her M.D. Ruth went on to be a doctor of obstetrics at the General Hospital in Beijing (Peking). Dr. Ruth Chi-ming Liu specialized in cancer research and along with her sister Rachel welcomed CSB+SJU students and faculty into their mother’s house.

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Chendan Yan '15

Chendan Yan ('15)

Chendan Yan from Shanghai, China, graduated from CSB in 2015. Yan double-majored in environmental studies and philosophy. In 2013, Yan was the president of the China Cross Cultural Communication Club (5C). As part of her role as president, Yan helped organize the annual Moon Festival. In an interview with The Record on the Moon Festival Yan said, “We hope we can bring all the Chinese students on campus together to celebrate, but we also hope that we can connect with American students.” Yan was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa in 2014, due to her academic accolades, and on April 11, 2014, she was inducted into the Omega Chapter of Delta Epsilon Sigma (DES). Yan received a Marie and Robert Jackson Fellowship in 2014. The Jackson Fellows Program was established in 2008 and works to send students to community sites for the summer to work on improving community life. Yan was assigned to the Center for Earth, Energy, and Democracy (CEED). Click here to watch a video of Yan talking about her experience as a Jackson Fellow.

Yan currently works as a Senior Associate for the Climate Finance program at the European Climate Foundation. She is stationed at the Brussels branch. Yan received her Master’s in Environmental Management from Yale in 2018. In addition to her work, Yan is a part of the music scene in Belgium as she is part of a music duo that performs jazz and atmospheric music.

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Fan Li with guzheng

Fan Li (CSB '17)

Fan Li is an alum from Datong in China’s Shanxi province. She is a professional musician performing on the guzheng, an ancient instrument with roots in China. Hear her perform at the China Cultural Centre in Luxembourg on this video.