Pauline Chiang: The First Female Chinese Student at UIUC

Written by Patty Templeton

Pauline Chiang was the first female Chinese student to attend UIUC. She joined the College of Commerce (now the Gies College of Business) in 1922. This is 16 years after the first male Chinese students began studying at the university. In a Daily Illini feature, Chiang said, “I am perfectly satisfied at the University of Illinois,” and further stated, “In my home in Pekin, I heard of Illinois, and my friends in this country directed me here. It is a wonderful place.”

Pauline Chiang

Upon her arrival Chiang, lived at McKinley Hall and became active in the Freshman Commission, the Woman’s Cosmopolitan Club, and at the Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church. Chiang also associated with the Chinese Students’ Club and took the part of a princess in “The Philosopher’s Stone,” a play that the club wrote and produced in 1923. (Details about the Chinese Students’ Club building can be found here.)

            McKinley Hall group from page 430 of the 1924 Illio

Chiang spoke up about issues of world education and race while at UIUC. A Daily Illini article from 1923 features Chiang’s thoughts on the 1922 silent drama East Meets West, a movie that starred a white woman in yellowface and heavily featured stereotypes about Chinese people. Chiang said, “I never saw Chinese girls with false teeth, as so described. I never saw Chinese dressed the way the picture describes.” She goes on to say, “It is the pride of the nation that I am fighting for.”

Freshman Commission from page 170 of  the 1924 Illio

Cosmopolitan Club from page 473 of  the 1924 Illio

Pauline Chiang is listed in the 1922 Local Faculty and Student Directory. In September of 1923, Pauline Chiang married a fellow student, Herbert C. Euyang. She then appears in the 1923 Local Faculty and Staff Directory as “Mrs. H.C. Euyang.” She is not found by either name in any subsequent directories. Herbert Euyang graduated in 1924 and took a job in Chicago at an importing firm, and this may account for Pauline leaving UIUC’s campus.

For additional information on Pauline Chiang/Pauline Euyang, peruse the 14 mentions of her in the Daily Illini, the 6 mentions of her husband Herbert in the Daily Illini, or contact an archivist.

For more information on the early years of Chinese students studying at UIUC, check out our Illini Everywhere blog series which discusses Chinese students from 1917-1927 and from 1928-1948.

First-Wave Feminism in the Student Life and Culture Archives

Written by Patty Templeton

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign held its first classes in March of 1868. Two years later, women were allowed to attend classes. The early days of the university coincided with the battle for women’s suffrage. Women in Illinois wouldn’t secure the right to vote for another 45 years (1913). It would take another seven years before the Nineteenth Amendment was fully ratified ensuring, “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”

Women’s suffrage is a part of the the first-wave of feminism in the United States. Concerns of first-wave feminism included women’s right to vote in all elections, women’s bodies not being considered as their husband’s property, and women attaining equal contract and property rights. This first-wave of feminism began on 1848 with the first women’s rights convention, the Seneca Falls Gathering, and ended with the adoption of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920.

Gathered here is a good starting point in examining first-wave feminism as experienced by UIUC students. These materials connect to themes of feminism, suffrage, and the view of women on campus.

The Alethenai Society (RS 41/75/2) was a literary society for women founded in 1871. The above Alethenai Stunt photo (ID 0002367) depicts the society dressed for women’s rights as part of the May Fete Stunt Show.

“Hurray for Petticoats, Down with Trousers” (ID 0002360) is an undated photograph, circa 1909-1914, of men in dresses taking part in the Interscholastic Circus, holding a sign that says, “Hurray for Petticoats, Down with Trousers!”

Board of Trustees Meetings Biennial Reports, 1867-2011, are available as digital surrogates (ID 8a02d470-9299-0131-1105-0050569601ca-8). The August 26, 1870 meeting discusses allowing females to apply in the upcoming school year stating, “…be it Resolved, That the Regent and faculty be authorized to admit to the classes of this institution for instruction, such female students of proper qualifications, as may apply; provided they be first satisfied that the parents and guardians have provided for them proper homes.” The names of Ayes (5) and Noes (4) are recorded for the resolution.

The early years of the Score Club (RS 48/3/7) reflect a focus on women’s suffrage in addition to an interest in music.

Thomas Arkle Clark was a professor of English (1893-99), the dean of undergraduates (1901-09), and dean of men (1909-1931) at UIUC. Keyword searching the Thomas A Clark papers (RS 41/2/20) for terms such as “lady,” “ladies,” “woman,” “women,” and “girl” will bring up articles and manuscripts that reflect the opinions of women and women on campus written by a university administrator.

Researchers can keyword search digitized versions of the Daily Illini to ascertain the student reaction to and events about to women’s suffrage. The earliest Daily Illini appearance of the term “suffrage” appears in the May 1, 1879 edition in an article titled, “Woman’s Rights; Their Opposition, Development and Effects.” There are 448 mentions of the term “suffrage” between 1870 – 1921. Searching in that date range for terms such as “female,” “women,” “ladies,” “lady,” and other related terms also may prove helpful. Researchers can also expand this search past the Daily Illini to Champaign-Urbana or Illinois newspapers.

Make sure to check out resources on women’s suffrage located at the University Archives in the Main Library, as well!  For example, in the Illinois Library Association Correspondence (RS 35/1/16), in the Louise B. Dunbar Papers (RS 15/13/36), the Maurice T. Price Papers (RS 15/21/20), in the Louisa A. Gregory Notebooks (RS 2/1/4), and in the General Correspondence 1919 – 1930 (RS 2/6/1).

Note: This is a starting points for women’s suffrage resources held within the Student Life and Culture Archives. The SLC has a large amount of materials on women’s personal history at UIUC – from scrapbooks to photos to papers. Contact an archivist if you have questions about record series on early women who were students, teachers, and administrators at UIUC.

The 1909 Cherry Mine Disaster and Illinois Rescue and Relief Fund Work

On November 13, 1909, at the St. Paul Coal Company mine in Cherry, Illinois, a devastating fire trapped 300 miners, of which 259 workers, including U.S. citizens, immigrants, and children would perish. Meanwhile on campus, Illinois staff would respond to the disaster while international students raised money to help support the families of miners lost in the catastrophe.

Read on to learn more about Illinois rescue and relief fund work responses to the Cherry Mine Disaster.

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Early Soccer at Illinois, 1909-1911

One hundred and ten years ago, today, might have been the first soccer match at the University of Illinois, which was later followed by a variety of future teams who would organize on campus, bringing together citizens, immigrants, international students, residents, and the local community too.

Read on to learn more about the early soccer at the University of Illinois!

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Early Invitations and Theodore Roosevelt’s 1912 Visit to Champaign and Urbana

During much of his political career, Theodore Roosevelt was an in demand speaker and after multiple invitations he came to central Illinois too. In fact, Illinois students played an early role in the efforts to bring the leading American statesman to town. Read on to learn more!

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