Chronicling Stories of Hotchkiss and China
Chronicling Stories of Hotchkiss and China

A new exhibit, "Hotchkiss & China, 1891-2018: Guided by each other, let us seek better paths," opened on the second floor of the Rotunda on May 29. The multimedia exhibit chronicles the long history between the School and China through the stories of six individuals and a detailed timeline.

Warren Seabury, Class of 1896, an educator motivated by religious faith, and Henry Luce '16, a son of missionaries and founder of Time magazine, are among the alumni whose stories are featured in the exhibit. Luce helped to define American popular views of China for decades. Other stories include David Chang '47, who was the first Chinese student enrolled at Hotchkiss and left a lasting impact as a trustee; and, Winston Lord '55, who helped to lay the groundwork for Nixon's famous meeting with Mao and served as U.S. ambassador in Beijing from 1985-89. John Thornton '72, the first American professor appointed at a Chinese university since 1949, and former president of the Board of Trustees, generously funded student and faculty trips to China, as well as Hotchkiss's Center for Global Understanding and Independent Thinking. Jean Yu, who retired last year from Hotchkiss, is the only woman featured in the exhibit. She established the School's Chinese language and culture program, and, along with her husband and former instructor in Chinese Ken Gu, helped support cultural extracurricular and student activities.

James Albanese '19, Jerry Cao '19, Andrew Lim '19, Pan, Chloe Powell '18, Sami Thomas '19, and Santiago Valenzuela '19 spent nearly six weeks producing the project for their history course, Modern East Asia. They collaborated with Curator of Special Collections Joan Baldwin, Archivist Rosemary Davis, Instructor in History Jared Hall, Director of Photography, Film and Related Media Greg Lock, and former Confucius Classroom Coordinator Lei Pan.

The exhibit is curated through written narratives in both English and Chinese, images, and video. Davis and Baldwin provided research support through the School's Archives and guidance on how to curate a museum-quality exhibition. 

"What set apart the work of these students is they were not just reading about the past, but actively engaged as historians," said Jared Hall, who is also the incoming dean of academic life. "They learned how to navigate the Archives, conducted original interviews, and thought about their multiple audiences as they created a polished, bilingual public exhibit."

"I think there's always a value in creating something substantial and original. In this case, they also learned first-hand the skills that lie at the heart of the discipline and, I hope, picked up others that they can take with them into their future work or study."

The show will run through Parents Weekend, October 19-20.