Tribute to Dr. Tai Ching Ling

Legendary SLUH Chinese teacher Dr. Tai Ching Ling, PhD passed away on May 6, 2023, surrounded by family and in the comfort of her son's home in Idaho. Dr. Tai dedicated much of her life to the SLUH mission, building the Chinese language and culture studies program and much more. Generations of alumni and colleagues knew her to be a tour de force. She took great pride in developing the relationship between SLUH and the Nanjing Foreign Language School and in developing the sister city relationship between Nanjing and the city of St. Louis.

Although she dedicated more time and energy to helping SLUH students and programs than most would ever know, she also tirelessly devoted herself to the Chinese-American community in St. Louis and broader civic service. She had an uncanny memory and endearing affection for her graduates, despite the tough love and apparent sternness that became her public persona. 

Dr. Tai was a generous donor to SLUH, though she desired to be anonymous while alive. She created the endowed fund for Advanced Chinese Language and Culture Studies. With her permission, SLUH will rename this fund the Dr. Chingling Tai Fund for Advanced Chinese Language and Culture Studies. She made a generous provision in her estate that is to be directed to this fund, making it the first endowed fund at SLUH in support of academics that is expected to fully fund upper level studies in Mandarin at the school in perpetuity.

SLUH is working with the family to honor Dr Tai's request for a modest ceremony in celebration of her life and service at the school. Those plans will be posted on this page as they are finalized. For now, please pray for Dr. Tai, for her family and the many alumni whose lives have been touched by her generous service and magnanimous spirit. 

Share Your Reflections

Dr. Tai Reflections

Do you have a favorite memory of Dr. Tai? How did Dr. Tai help in your formation during high school?


"My last message to my beloved school: Please plant a pear tree. A pear blossom blooms from the spring rain. It is visible with our eyes, but subtle, and not domineering. It is fragrant every April, bringing hope into the world."

- Dr. Tai Ching Ling

(Pictured on 2011 SLUH trip to China)