Vung-Yuin Ting, a Chinese woman who graduated from UM Med School in 1939, was caught in war-torn Chongqing. During the incessant bombing and raids by the Japanese of WWII, she was working at a Chongqing hospital and came to know intimately the horrors of war. Amidst the fires of death, she was in charge of the Ob. Gyn. department and oversaw new life enter her world on a daily basis. Despite the enormity of suffering and atrocities she witnessed, her hope and fighting spirit seemed indefatigable. We now know a sliver of her story in detail thanks to a recently published letter she wrote to friends in America, dated June 4th, 1941. An excerpt is pasted below:
The letter in its entirety can be read at this link: A Letter written on Jun 4, 1941 and can also be found at the Mt. Holyoke College archives.
Ms. Ting came to UM through the Barbour Scholarship for Oriental Women. This initiative was started by university Regent Levi Lewis Barbour in 1914, who was impressed by Chinese medical missionaries he had seen working in their homeland after graduation from the university. (UM alum may be more familiar with Levi Lewis' wife, Betsy, and her eponymous residence hall, Betsy Barbour House.)
This blog post was written with the help of the University of Michigan's Bentley Historical Library, particularly Nancy Bartlett, Jakob Dopp, Malgosia Myc, and Cinda Nofziger.