Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Wallace Loh, University of Maryland president

At American universities, a recent trend is for schools to change the names of buildings named after racists. This is taking place at the University of Maryland, where the football stadium is named after Harry Byrd, who was university president from 1936 to 1954. He barred black students from enrolling until he was forced by the court to do so. When he ran for governor, he strongly supported segregation.

The current president of the school, Wallace Loh, wants to change the name of the stadium. I was curious about his background and did a bit of googling. He was the only grandson of a wealthy Chinese family. It owned five city blocks in downtown Shanghai. When the Communists took over, his family fled with nothing to Peru. His parents ran a grocery store there and sent him to America to attend college at age 15, even though he spoke no English.

He ended up earning a bachelor's degree from Grinnell (Iowa), a master's from Cornell, a doctorate from the University of Michigan, and a law degree from Yale.

Here he is speaking. Interesting accent.

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