Tyng Se Chung

Tyng Se Chung (1859-ca. 1939), a native of Guangdong Province, was a member of the first detachment of the CEM, which arrived in the US in 1872.[1] He attended Hartford Public High School from 1877 to 1879, excelling in spelling and football. (Tyng had taken second prize in spelling as a student at the West Middle Public School in Hartford, Connecticut in 1876.) Tyng matriculated at MIT in 1880. While a student, Tyng lived at 370 Columbus Avenue in Boston, together with two other CEM students, Sik Yau Foke and Yang Seu Nam.[2] After returning to China, Tyng was assigned to the Fuzhou Naval School. He became a naval officer, and then left the Navy to enter business. While 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."[3]




[1] For more on Tyng see CEM Connections.

[2] Photos available from the LaFargue collection at Washington State University: Ting Se Chung around 1872 and 1876. On the spelling competition, see Rhoads, 2011, 105.

[3] 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 Review; The Tech; the MIT Course Catalogue; MIT's Reports to the President; Who'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).