Tyng Se Chung tyng 鄧士聰

Chinese Educational Mission

 

 
  Tyng Se Chung, ca. 1876.   2-2-20. Thomas E. LaFargue Papers, 1873-1946, courtesy Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections (MASC), Washington State University Libraries.

Tyng Se Chung, ca. 1876. 2-2-20. Thomas E. LaFargue Papers, 1873-1946, courtesy Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections (MASC), Washington State University Libraries.

SE CHUNG TYNG 鄧士聰, Mandarin pinyin Deng Shicong (1859-ca. 1939), a native of Shangzha, Xiangshan, Guangdong Province, was a member of the first detachment of the Chinese Educational Mission (CEM), which arrived in the US in 1872. He attended Hartford Public High School from 1877 to 1879, excelling in spelling and football. 

Whereas many of the early Chinese students impressed Americans with their academic achievements, Tyng also surprised them with his athletic prowess. As Yale Professor, William Lyon Phelps, who was Tyng's classmate at Hartford Public High School, recalled in his autobiography:

I can well remember, when we used to ‘choose up sides’ at football, how the first choice invariably went to Se Chung, a short, thick-set boy, built close to the ground, who ran like a hound, and dodged like a cat."

 

Tyng matriculated at MIT in 1880. While attending the Institute, he lived at 370 Columbus Avenue in Boston, together with two other CEM students, Sik Yau Foke and Yang Seu Nam. After returning to China with the recall of the CEM in 1881, Tyng was assigned to the Fuzhou Naval School. He became a naval officer, and then left the Navy to enter business. 

  Tyng Se Chung, ca. 1872. 2-2-40. Thomas E. LaFargue Papers, 1873-1946, courtesy Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections (MASC), Washington State University Libraries.

Tyng Se Chung, ca. 1872. 2-2-40. Thomas E. LaFargue Papers, 1873-1946, courtesy Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections (MASC), Washington State University Libraries.


Notes: For more on Tyng see CEM Connections.

Tyng had taken second prize in spelling as a student at the West Middle Public School in Hartford, Connecticut in 1876. On the spelling competition, see Rhoads, 2011, 105.

Quote from Phelps, William Lyon Phelps. "Chinese Students in America," The Chinese Students' Monthly, Volume VI, Number 8, June 10, 1911, 705.

Sources: 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).