News / USA

Tributes Grow for Chinese Victim of Boston Marathon Bombings

A temporary memorial for Chinese student Lu Lingzi was established in Boston's Copley Square shortly after her death.
A temporary memorial for Chinese student Lu Lingzi was established in Boston's Copley Square shortly after her death.
Sarah Williams
Chinese student Lu Lingzi’s dreams of earning a master’s degree from Boston University and becoming a financial analyst were shattered last April when she was one of three people killed in the Boston Marathon bombings.

The 23-year-old woman from Shenyang was studying for a degree in statistics, and in her spare time liked to explore her new city.

Roommates Jing Li (L) and Lu Lingzi (R) in a photo taken at Boston University before Lu died from wounds received while attending the Boston Marathon in April, 2013Roommates Jing Li (L) and Lu Lingzi (R) in a photo taken at Boston University before Lu died from wounds received while attending the Boston Marathon in April, 2013
x
Roommates Jing Li (L) and Lu Lingzi (R) in a photo taken at Boston University before Lu died from wounds received while attending the Boston Marathon in April, 2013
Roommates Jing Li (L) and Lu Lingzi (R) in a photo taken at Boston University before Lu died from wounds received while attending the Boston Marathon in April, 2013
“We really enjoyed our life in Boston and at BU,” said Jing Li, Lu’s roommate, who is also from northern China. “Lingzi, she was very hard working, and she was very good at math, and I remember that she often came to me very happily and told me that she had got a high grade on her exam.”

Both Boston University and the American Statistical Association are working to help others pursue their dreams in Lu’s memory.  Recently, Boston University announced the Lu Lingzi Memorial Scholarship Fund has raised more than $1 million, and donations are still coming in.

“It’s very impressive, and it’s not finished yet, we’re still seeing that people are still touched by this, and accordingly we expect this to keep going for quite a while, especially in Asia, where this resonated deeply with folks,” said Scott Nichols, BU’s senior vice president for development and alumni relations.

The fund was created shortly after Lu’s death, when university trustees, deeply saddened by the tragedy, agreed to create a memorial scholarship. Nichols said the trustees committed $550,000 “within seconds” at an initial meeting, and that subsequent donations submitted to the university’s website have brought in another half-million dollars, much of it from Asia
.
“So we sit here six months later, there are 1,300 gifts, literally from all over the world,” said Nichols.  BU alumni clubs in China, South Korea and Taiwan have held fundraisers to support the Lu scholarship. The fund will help support two scholarships for international graduate students, with preference given to applicants from China. 
 
“One will be awarded on an annual basis, and they’re graduate programs.  Master’s [degrees], usually, are two-year programs, so they’ll overlap,” said Willis Wang, Boston University’s vice president and associate provost for global programs. “So there will always be a Lu Lingzi scholarship recipient here on campus, that’s the intent.”

The effort to remember Lu extends beyond Boston University.   Eric Kolaczyk, BU statistics professor, was Lu’s faculty advisor.  He is helping to create an annual award to be given by the American Statistical Association along with the International Chinese Statistical Association in honor of his former student.

“I thought we really ought to have something within the statistics community to honor that aspect of her,” Kolaczyk said.  He said Lu’s parents, who traveled from China to Boston to attend her memorial service, also inspired him.

“They were quite adamant about how very much she wanted to be in the U.S., and yet how very proud she was of her Chinese heritage, so we thought having the two societies together sponsoring this would also be reflective of that,” he said.

The award will be launched in 2015, and will be open to those currently enrolled in statistics master’s programs or who have recently earned a master’s in statistics.  It will fund travel to the ASA’s annual Conference on Statistical Practice.
 
The city of Boston itself has not forgotten Lu Lingzi.  When the Boston Red Sox recently won the World Series baseball championship, the team placed an ad in The Boston Globe newspaper dedicating the title to the city and the victims of the marathon bombings, naming Lu and the others who died.

Jing was very grateful for the mention of her late friend.

“When I read this, I cannot help but cry,” she said. “I’m really touched that there are so many people remembering them.  Every time that I [hear about] the scholarship, I think it represents the best part of the people, and it reminds me of how the Boston people supported and loved each other during that difficult time.” 

Lu and Jing met in an online chat group for prospective Boston University students.  They both prepared for their TOEFL tests [English language proficiency exams] in China by listening to Voice of America’s English broadcasts.

“Lingzi liked VOA a lot,” Jing said.

Initially, both Lu and Jing had to adjust to their new surroundings when they arrived in Boston in 2012.

“Language was still a barrier at the beginning,” said Jing.  “I remember that both of us often came to each other and complained that we didn’t get what the professor said in class today.” 

The great distance from their families was also challenging.

“Sometimes we got really homesick, especially during the traditional festivals, but both of us were involved in fields that we truly loved,” she said.

In addition to their studies, the two friends enjoyed cooking in their apartment, shopping on Boston’s famed Newbury Street, visiting the Museum of Fine Arts and traveling to a retreat in nearby New Hampshire. According to Jing, the two women, who were both only children, became “like sisters.”

Meanwhile, the links between the Lu family and Boston continue.

Lu’s parents intend to travel to the city next year to visit their daughter’s grave.  Wang, who was a pallbearer at the private funeral service, said the family chose Boston as her final resting place.

“The family decided that this was one of her huge dreams, to study here, to be in the United States, to get a graduate degree, to come to Boston and Boston University, and they decided to give her to the city of Boston,” he said.

In March, Boston University plans to host a Beijing event in honor of the Lu family.  The Chinese capital’s BU alumni club has invited Lu’s parents to attend, as well as U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke, a graduate of the university’s law school.

Jing hopes the legacy of Lu Lingzi will inspire others.

“[Lingzi] has a lot of unfinished dreams,” she said. “She’s like a role model for the future students and will encourage them to study hard, play hard and cherish every moment in their lives, and also make every moment meaningful.”

You May Like

At International AIDS Conference One Goal, Many Paths

The 12,000 delegates attending 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne have vastly different visions about how to eradicate disease More

Disasters May Doom Malaysia’s Flag Carrier

Even before loss of two jets loaded with passengers on international flights, company had been operating in red for three years, accumulating deficit of $1.3 billion More

Afghan Presidential Vote Audit Continues Despite Glitches

Process has been marred by walkouts by representatives of two competing candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid