Alumni Alumni in the News In the News

June 25, 2013 at 10:30 am

Sun News: Son Continues Journey Parents Began in Athens

Reporter Cory Shaffer of the Sun News captured a poignant story with Ohio University and Athens roots on June 11.

Just because he’s going to Yale University this fall doesn’t mean Jeffrey Ding is without gratitude.

Ding, who graduated near the top of the class at Strongsville High School June 2, was born in Athens, Ohio to parents who were on student visas from China, and remembers the economic struggle that went with it.

“We lived in a one-room shack where the heating was intermittent at times,” Ding said.

Ding’s mother and father, Qilan and Yimin, worked in a local school’s cafeteria and at the Salvation Army, respectively, while they attended Ohio University. Before they came to America, they labored in the fields in mainland China and saved up enough money to come to the US.

And Ding knows it was all for him and his brother.

“All the hard work and perseverance and drive to have a better life for their children makes me respect them so much,” he said. “It’s very humbling.”

Qilan and Yimin, who both received graduate degrees in mathematics, saw an opportunity and pounced in the 1990s with the tech bubble, and switched into the IT field, eventually ending up in Strongsville.

Read his entire story. And let us know if you know the Dings. Yimin Ding earned an M.S. in Mathematics in ’94 and a Ph.D. in Mathematics in ’95 from Ohio University’s College of Arts & Sciences.

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