Family of slain Chinese scholar set up fund for int’l students in crisis

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/8/20 18:02:14

Ye Lifeng (second from right), lets out a wail of grief as her husband Zhang Ronggao (left), the father of slain Chinese scholar Zhang Yingying, reads a statement to the media outside the US Courthouse in Peoria, Illinois, on June 24, after a federal jury found Brendt Christensen guilty of kidnapping and murdering Zhang Yingying. Photo: VCG

The family of murdered Chinese scholar Zhang Yingying announced on Monday the establishment of "Yingying's Fund" to help international students at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) who are in crisis.

"Founded with the support of her family, this fund will uniquely serve international students across campus and their families during times of hardship, when they need it most," the homepage of the fund said. 

According to Zhang's father, Zhang Ronggao, this is the most appropriate way to remember his daughter's life, Beijing News reported on Tuesday. "As her family, we are so proud to establish 'Yingying's Fund' at the University of Illinois to remember her whole life," he said, adding that the sadness will be with the family forever, and hoped no family would suffer a similar tragedy, the report said. 

"Champaign is 7,000 miles away from our home; we didn't know who and where to ask for help," the father said, according to The Daily Illini. "When we arrived, there were so many people from the university and local community who helped us."

Zhang Yingying's fiancé Hou Xiaolin released a statement in which he expressed hope that international students and their families would be able to receive the needed financial support when faced with emergencies in future, instead of feeling helpless as Yingying's family did when first arriving in the US, The Daily Illini said.

The family made the decision to give an endowment of $30,000 to the fund, said the Associated Press. As of Tuesday, more than $58,000 has been raised by more than 494 people.

According to the homepage of "Yingying's Fund," the fund may also be used to support family travel expenses of UIUC students in crisis, including airfare, lodging and meals, for the student's immediate family member(s) to support the student.

Two years ago, Brendt Christensen murdered Zhang Yingying, dismembered her body and put the remains into three garbage bags. Christensen was convicted and sentenced to life in prison in July. 

Global Times


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