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First Chinese Graduate of Yale Honored

A ceremony to honor Yung Wing, the first Chinese student to graduate from Yale University 150 years ago, was held  in New Haven, Connecticut  Tuesday.

A bronze statue of Yung, donated by China's southern city of Zhuhai, the hometwon of Yung, was unveiled at the ceremony.

"This is a magnificent day for Yale as we celebrate the 150th anniversary of graduation of Yung Wing. He is a role model for all our students and all of us today," Linda Lorimer, vice president of the Yale University, told Xinhua.

Lorimer hailed Yung's "marvelous legacy" which was not only academic accomplishment, but also his efforts to serve the society and his country, noting that Yung Wing was one of the first Chinese diplomats posted in the United States.

"The statue will be a permanent part of our campus so that all of our students and faculty will always remember the legacy of Yung Wing," she said.

Huang Xiaodong, chairman of the Zhuhai International Culture Exchange Association, said Yung, as the first Chinese national to obtain an American university degree, embarked on a long journey to the betterment of China after his graduation.

Yung was the initiator to the plan of sending 120 young Chinese students to study in the United States. He was also involved in efforts to overthrow the Qing Dynasty and establish a republic in China, Huang noted.

Yung came to the United States in 1847 and went to the Yale University three years later and graduated in 1854. Last August, Yale held a symposium in Beijing to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Yung's graduation.

 (Xinhua News Agency December 22, 2004)

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