Chinese Alumni

The University of Minnesota is proud to count Chinese alumni among the many University graduates who have excelled in their respective fields. The University strongly believes in continued alumni engagement, and provides support to Chinese alumni whose school spirit and fond memories of Minnesota have created hundreds of opportunities for alumni to connect.  

Alumni Profiles

Many University Chinese alumni have become leading experts and innovators in the fields that they studied at the University. Below are just a few examples of extraordinary alumni who have contributed greatly to the University’s legacy of excellence.

Wong Jee Lum, who earned a doctorate in dental surgery in 1922, was the first Chinese student to graduate from the School of Dentistry. He returned to China and served as a major general in the Chinese Nationalist Army on the staff of the surgeon general. In the 1950s, he established the Dentistry Department at the National Defense Medical Center in Taiwan, and served as president of the University of Minnesota Alumni Chapter in Taipei. He received the University’s Outstanding Achievement Award in 1959, one of the highest honors for alumni.

Tang Peisong graduated in 1927 and was an academician of Academia Sinica as well as one of the first academicians at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. As the founding father of plant physiology in China, Tang served as the chairperson of the Botanical Society of China and the Chinese Society of Plant Physiology.

Joseph Ling earned his doctorate in sanitary engineering in 1952 and became a distinguished environmental engineer and vice president at 3M. He pioneered the “Pollution Prevention Pays” program at 3M in 1975, a program still in place today. He was appointed by U.S. President Richard Nixon to serve on the President’s Air Quality Advisory Board.

Read More Alumni Stories

Lifelong Gophers

In 2009, the University established its first international office in Beijing, China. The office focuses on three core areas of recruitment, educational collaboration, and alumni relations. In addition the University of Minnesota Alumni Association has official chapters in Beijing, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tianjin, Xi’an, and Taipei. These chapters host visiting University dignitaries and help former University students maintain their connection to the University and to Minnesota.

Wong Jee Lum, the first Chinese student to graduate from the School of Dentistry

Wong Jee Lum pictured in the 1922 Gopher yearbook.

Joseph Ling was named one of Engineering News Record’s 125 most significant people of the past 125 years in 1999

Joseph Ling, pictured, was named one of Engineering News Record’s 125 most significant people of the past 125 years in 1999.

Grand opening of the University's office in Beijing

Commissioner Zheng Dengwen, Beijing Municipal Education Commission, and a delegation from the University of Minnesota celebrated the grand opening of the University’s Beijing Office in 2009.

Hong Kong alumni chapter

President Robert Bruininks’ 2004 delegation to China met with alumni from the University of Minnesota Alumni Association chapter in Hong Kong.