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

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid