Letter from John Ma (February 12, 1918)
- Letter from John Ma (February 12, 1918)
John Ma (Ma Yuehan) wrote this letter to the dean of the International YMCA College, now called Springfield College, on February 12, 1918. During this time, Ma was the associate director at the Tsing Hua College, now called Tsinghua University, in Beijing, China. He writes that he wants to study physical education at Springfield College. After asking about the application process, requirements, and tuition, Ma describes his education, work experience, and athletic success.
- Ma, Yuehan, 1883-1966
February 12, 1918
- Springfield College Archives and Special Collections
- Collection (local):
College Archives Digital Collections
International Young Men's Christian Association College
Springfield College--Alumni and alumnae
International Young Men's Christian Association
Ma, Yuehan, 1883-1966
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John Ma (1883-1966) was a pioneer in physical education and modern Chinese sports. He graduated with his BA from St. John’s University in 1911 and, three years later, began teaching physical education at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. In 1919, Ma traveled to the United States to earn his BA from Springfield College. He returned to China after graduating the following year and was promoted to director of physical education, a position he held for the next nine years. In 1926, he went on furlough and returned to Springfield College to earn his master’s degree. From 1931 to 1932, Ma was the physical education director at Soochow University, and in 1934 he returned to his old position at Tsinghua College. In 1936, Ma coached the Chinese sports delegation at the 11th Olympic Games. In 1945, he became president of Tsinghua University. Ma taught physical education at Tsinghua University for fifty-two years and once coached their soccer team to victory in the North China Championship. After the founding of the People's Republic of China, he was elected the chairman of the All China Athletic Federation. Under the Wade-Giles romanization system, popular through most of the 20th century, John’s surname was spelled “Mo” (as seen in this document). The system was designed by Thomas Wade during the mid-19th century and completed with Herbert Giles' Chinese–English Dictionary in 1892. However, since 1982 Hanyu Pinyin has been the international standard, and under this system his surname is spelled “Ma.”
Letter is torn and wrinkled on left side.