When did the first students from China come to RPI? This question was asked during our open house event recently. A quick answer was readily available in an alumni directory, but my curiosity was piqued and I decided to dig a little deeper. Two students from Guangzhou (once referred to as Canton) arrived at RPI in the fall of 1878 and roomed together at a boarding house on Second St. The students were Kwok S. Loh and Wing Chung Pawn.
Animosity towards Chinese immigrants, especially in the west, resulted in the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act. Though this act did not prohibit international study, it appears to have kept Chinese students away from RPI for many years. The next group of Chinese students did not enter until 1907.
[This blog post was edited by the archives in 2021]