PAH LIANG Fong 方伯樑 

 
 
Class of '84 MIT: Twenty-fifth Anniversary Book, 1909.Courtesy MIT Archives and Special Collections.

Class of '84 MIT: Twenty-fifth Anniversary Book, 1909.Courtesy MIT Archives and Special Collections.

Pah liang Fong (1860-1927, Class of 1884)

Mandarin pinyin Fang Boliang, a native of Kaiping in Guangdong Province, studied at the Educational Mission School in Shanghai in 1873 before sailing for the US as a member of the second detachment of the CEM. He arrived in America in July 1873. Having prepared at Wesleyan Academy in Wilbraham, Massachusetts, and then at Williston Seminary In Easthampton, Massachusetts, Fong entered MIT in 1880, studying science. A Christian convert, Fong was engaged in church activities during his student years. In August 1881, he returned to China and studied at the Telegraph School in Tianjin, China in 1881-82. After spending four years devoted to the telegraph service, then teaching for several years, Fong entered the North China Railway Service in Tianjin in 1905. He served as a proctor at the Tangshan Railway and Mining Engineering College. At the time of his twenty-fifth reunion in 1909, Fong reported that he was in Mukden, Manchuria, where he had been serving as the Deputy of the Bureau of Agriculture, Industry, and Commerce since 1908. He had three wives and ten children. Outside of his professional life, Fong was also very interested in missionary work and was involved in a Christian mission during the time he lived in Canton. Fong later became Telegraph Superintendent of the Canton-Hankow Railway.

Class of '84 MIT: Twenty-fifth Anniversary Book, 1909.Courtesy MIT Archives and Special Collections.

Class of '84 MIT: Twenty-fifth Anniversary Book, 1909.Courtesy MIT Archives and Special Collections.

As Fong recalled in a letter to his class in 1909:

The education received at the Institute proved a training of the mental powers, – memory, judgment, the reason, and will, – so that one can turn to any one of many lines of work and in a short time dovetail one's self into the position one has chosen. Should have desired a more liberal education, and regret that I did not even complete my course of studies at the Institute. [Class of '84 M.I.T.: Twenty-fifth Anniversary Book, 1909, 43]

Fong further reported that he weighed 120 pounds, up from his college weight of 108 pounds, "and a little thicker."


A reunion of the Chinese Educational Mission students in China, 1905.2-1-8. tif. Thomas E. LaFargue Papers, 1873-1946, courtesy Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections (MASC), Washington State University Libraries. Fong is second from left in front row. 

A reunion of the Chinese Educational Mission students in China, 1905.2-1-8. tif. Thomas E. LaFargue Papers, 1873-1946, courtesy Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections (MASC), Washington State University Libraries. Fong is second from left in front row. 


 Sources:

For more biographical details on Fong, see CEM Connections

MIT Chinese Students Directory: For the Past Fifty Years, 1931; Class of '84 MIT: Twenty-fifth Anniversary Book, 1909; the Technology ReviewThe Tech; the MIT Course Catalogue; MIT's Reports to the PresidentWho's Who of American Returned Students (You Mei tongxue lu), Beijing: Tsinghua College, 1917; CEM Connections; Thomas La Fargue, China's First Hundred. Pullman: State College of Washington, 1942; and The Thomas La Fargue Digital Collection (Washington State University Libraries). Outlook 1917. China's Place in the Sun.