It did not occur to me just how many peoples’ lives my mother, Ai Ling Guan, had touched, until I was in my early twenties, traveling around China with her. Everywhere we went, friends and family would go out of their way to pick us up from the train station, take us out to dinner, and bring together groups of old friends for 白酒. Along the way, I heard countless stories of my mother’s adventures in China and in university, of traveling the world, and maintaining a dual identity and relationships in both China and the U.S. that only a strong, dynamic, and smart woman like my mother could do.
As I reflect on my own life, I have decided that this is the kind of legacy I would also like to leave. To me it means being well-liked and highly spoken of, not necessarily because of my wealth or achievements, but because of my mature character, genuine kindness, and integrity. It means having friends around the world who will put down everything to come out for a dinner and night of friendship. It means, as in my mother’s final days, that people will come from all over the world to pay respects and tell these stories.
This program 管爱玲奖学金 is in memory of and a lasting legacy of Ai Ling Guan – how will you take this opportunity to think about your own life path, and the legacy you would like to leave on your university, your friends, and your family?