Hung-Hsun Ling

At the age of 15, Hung-Hsun Ling enrolled into the preparatory school of the Nanyang College in 1910. He graduated as the first in his class in railroad/civil engineering in 1915. Upon graduation, he and his classmate, the number two student in the graduating class, Te-Cheng Chen were selected by the Ministry of Communication (交通部) to go to the U.S. for three years of practical training. The training was sponsored by the American Bridge Co., a subsidiary of the U.S. Steel Corporation. Their training program called for the participation in factory, machine shop, design and on-site supervision. They had the opportunity to travel and work in Philadelphia, New York City, Boston and Chicago etc. and met with their Chinese fellow student contemporaries. There were about three hundred Chinese students in the east coast of the United States, many of them were sponsored by the Ching-Hwa scholarship fund. The fund derived from the compensation Ching Dynasty paid to the U.S. Government upon defeat in the 1900 War when the United Army of eight countries ( Great Britain, Russia, France, Germany, United States of America, Japan, Italy, Austria ) defeated the Ching Army. The U.S. Government used the fund to set up scholarships in the U. S. and assist education institutes in China - for the cause of humanity. The Chinese students in that era were all outstanding young men, intelligent, energetic and potential community leaders. The time was right to give birth to a professional organization whose members would help to shape the building of China in the decades to come.