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

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community 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.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid