Wong Jee Lum

Wong Jee Lum
Image courtesy of the University of Minnesota Archives, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Wong Jee Lum, who was born in San Francisco, California, enrolled in the University of Minnesota dentistry program in 1918, and became the first Chinese student to receive a doctorate of dental surgery degree in 1922. He went on to teach at Union Medical College in Peking, becoming the first Chinese professor of American methods of dentistry in China, according to Minnesota Alumni Weekly. In 1935, Wong became the dean of the dentistry department at the National Central University in Nanjing. He reached out to his alma mater in 1936, writing a letter to the dean of the College of Dentistry at the University asking for materials to help his department in China.

In the 1940s, Wong became dean of the dentistry department at the National Defense Medical Center in Taiwan, and was also a major general in the Chinese Nationalist Army on the staff of the surgeon general. Wong was president of the University of Minnesota Club of Taipei, and in October 1959, he received the University of Minnesota’s Outstanding Achievement Award.