The reception was hold in honor of the Chinese students who were departing to the United States the following Sunday, August 22, 1926. It was organized by eight organizations (World’s Chinese Students Federation, Kiangsu Educational Association, American University Club, Shanghai College of Commerce, Shanghai Chinese Y.M.C.A., Fudan University, Nanyang University, Tsing Hwa (Qinghua) Alumuni Association). It took place at 39 Route Pichon, French Concession, Shanghai. The students were to leave Shanghai to the United States aboard of President Mckinley on Sunday, August 22, 1926. The departing students who constituted the 1926 contingent to the United States consisted of 260 members, 60 of them supported by Tsing Hwa College operated with the funds of the returned Boxer Indemnity (23%), while the rest (200) were self-supporting students (77%). The reception was attended by some 250 students and many prominent Chinese and foreign guests who gave speech of advice to the departing students.
Reviews of speeches
- V.K. Ting (Mayor of Shanghai). In his lengthy but interesting, harsh but instructve speech, Ting gave advice to the departing students. He emphasized the point that the students in going to America should guard against being too Americanised to such an extent that they should lose their Chinese originality. He advised that they must neither be too vain nor overambitious, but should always keep in mind that their purpose is to learn things that may be of benefit to China when they return to their mother country. He also gave some advice to the girl students that amidst their social activities in America they must not forget entirely their future duties as keepers of homes. In conclusion, Dr. Ting said that what he had said might sound a little harseh, but he simply gave his impressions during the past 26 years since his return from England.
- Oliver (US Congressman): delivered a very encouraging and instructive address before the students. He said that they should value their courses in American universities and during their college days there, they can easily form genuine friendship with American students and people upon which they can promote bettter understading and welfare of the great nations on the opposite shores of the Pacific in the future.
Wang Yanpei (Kiangsu Educational Association): Wang first compared the status of the returned students of the past generation with those of the present and declared that with a vast number of returned students every year, they are no longer surprises to the people and do not have the advantages as enjoyed by their foreunners. He advised that the departing students must not be too ambitious, lest they should be bitterly disappointed whrn they come back to China. Regarding the girl students who are also leaving with the boys, Mr. Wang spoke in the similar strain as Dr. Ting. He said that side by side with their modern knowledge and social service the girl students must also learn how to manage home affairs, cooking food and sewing clothes.
Xu Yuan (Commissioner of Foreign Affairs, Shanghai): short but humorous speech