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Soong Mei-ling

Soong Mei-ling or Soong May-ling known as Madame Chiang Kai-shek or Madame Chiang, was a Chinese political figure, First Lady of the Republic of China, the wife of Generalissimo and President Chiang Kai-shek. Soong played a prominent role in the politics of the Republic of China and was the sister-in-law of Sun Yat-sen, the founder and the leader of the Republic of China, she was active in the civic life of her country and held many honorary and active positions, including chairwoman of Fu Jen Catholic University. During the Second Sino-Japanese War, she rallied her people against the Japanese invasion, her life traversed three centuries. She was born in her family home, a traditional house called Neishidi, in Shanghai, she was born on March 5, 1898, though some biographies give the year as 1897, since Chinese tradition considers one to be a year old at birth. She was the fourth of six children of Charlie Soong, a wealthy businessman and former Methodist missionary from Hainan, his wife Ni Kwei-tseng.

Mei-ling's siblings were sister Ai-ling, sister Ching-ling, who became Madame Sun Yat-sen, older brother Tse-ven and younger brothers Tse-liang and Tse-an In Shanghai, May-ling attended the McTyeire School for Girls with her sister, Ching-ling. Their father, who had studied in the United States, arranged to have them continue their education in the US in 1907. May-ling and Ching-ling attended a private school in New Jersey. In 1908, Ching-ling was accepted by her sister Ai-ling's alma mater, Wesleyan College, at age 15 and both sisters moved to Macon, Georgia, to join Ai-ling. However, she could not get permission to stay on campus as a family member nor could she be a student because she was too young. May-ling spent the year in Demorest, with Ai-ling's Wesleyan friend, Blanche Moss, who enrolled May-ling as an 8th grader at Piedmont College. In 1909, Wesleyan's newly appointed president, William Newman Ainsworth, gave her permission to stay at Wesleyan and assigned her tutors, she attended Fairmount College in Monteagle, Tennessee in 1910.

May-ling was registered as a freshman at Wesleyan in 1912 at the age of 15. She transferred to Wellesley College two years to be closer to her older brother, T. V. who, at the time, was studying at Harvard. By both her sisters had graduated and returned to Shanghai, she graduated from Wellesley as one of the 33 "Durant Scholars" on June 19, 1917, with a major in English literature and minor in philosophy. She was a member of Tau Zeta Epsilon, Wellesley's Arts and Music Society; as a result of being educated in English all her life, she spoke excellent English, with a pronounced Georgia accent which helped her connect with American audiences. Soong Mei-ling met Chiang Kai-shek in 1920. Since he was eleven years her elder married, a Buddhist, Mei-ling's mother vehemently opposed the marriage between the two, but agreed after Chiang showed proof of his divorce and promised to convert to Christianity. Chiang told his future mother-in-law that he could not convert because religion needed to be absorbed, not swallowed like a pill.

They married in Shanghai on December 1, 1927. While biographers regard the marriage with varying appraisals of partnership, love and competition, it lasted 48 years; the couple had no children. In 1928, she was made a member of the Committee of Yuans by Chiang, they renewed their wedding vows on May 1944 at St. Bartholomew's Church in New York City. Polly Smith sang the Lord's Prayer at the ceremony. Madame Chiang initiated the New Life Movement and became engaged in Chinese politics, she was a member of the Legislative Yuan from 1930 to 1932 and Secretary-General of the Chinese Aeronautical Affairs Commission from 1936 to 1938. In 1945 she became a member of the Central Executive Committee of the Kuomintang; as her husband rose to become Generalissimo and leader of the Kuomintang, Madame Chiang acted as his English translator and advisor. She was his muse, his eyes, his ears, his most loyal champion. During World War II, Madame Chiang tried to promote the Chinese cause and build a legacy for her husband on a par with Roosevelt and Stalin.

Well-versed in both Chinese and Western culture, she became popular both in China and abroad. Her prominence led Joseph Stilwell to quip. In 1931, Soong Mei-ling had a villa built for her on the east side of Nanjing. Located a few hundred meters east of the Sifangcheng Pavilion of the Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum, the villa still exists, is known as Meilinggong, "Mei-ling Palace". Although Soong Mei-ling avoided the public eye after marrying Chiang, she soon began an ambitious social welfare project to establish schools for the orphans of Chinese soldiers; the orphanages were well-appointed: with playgrounds, swimming pools, a gymnasium, model classrooms, dormitories. Soong Mei-ling was involved in the project and picked all of the teachers herself. There were two schools - one for boys and one for girls—built on a thousand-acre site at the foot of Purple Mountain, in Nanjing, she made them a personal cause. The fate of the children of fallen soldiers became a much more important issue in China after the beginning of the war with Japan in 1937.

In order to better provide for these children she established the Chinese Women's National War Relief Society. Soong Mei-ling made several tours to the United States to lobby support for the Nationalists' war effort. Sh

Old Schools

The Old Schools are part of the University of Cambridge, in the centre of Cambridge, England. The Old Schools house the Cambridge University Offices, which form the main administration for the University; the building is Grade I listed. It is two storeys high with ashlar facing and a parapet above. Within the Old Schools are Cobble Court; the Old Schools building is located at the end of Trinity Lane and is surrounded by other historic University and College buildings. To the north is Gonville and Caius College. To the east is the University of Cambridge Senate House where degree ceremonies are held, on King's Parade. To the south, the scene is dominated by the large King's College Chapel. To the west are Trinity Hall and Clare College; the Old Schools Site covers the Old Schools, the Senate House, Great St Mary's, the University Church. The original building was begun in 1441–4, it formed the Old Court of King's College, but was bought by University and demolished in 1829. The west range was completed in 1864–7 by Sir George Gilbert Scott and in 1889–90 by John Loughborough Pearson.

The Old Schools housed the Cambridge University Library, which has now relocated to the west of the Cambridge city centre, north off West Road Path. The north wing designed by Charles Robert Cockerell and built 1836-7 in a grand classical style was part of a scheme to rebuild the entire building

Stoyan Gadev

Stoyan Gadev was a Bulgarian stage and film actor born in 1931, deceased in 1999. He is best known for the role of Stoil the Haidouk in the popular TV series Captain Petko Voivode written by Nikolay Haytov. Gadev is known for his colourful appearances in classic film productions as The Tied Up Balloon, Eternal Times, A Cricket in the Ear and King for a Day. Stoyan Gadev started his career on the stage at the theatres of Burgas, Sliven and Pernik before joining the troupe of the Youth Theatre, Sofia. In the beginning of the 1990s, he was a member of the Municipal Theatre Sofia. Stoyan Gadev was decorated with the high government prize the Order of Saints Methodius. Gencheva, Galina. Bulgarian Feature Films encyclopedia. Sofia: Publishing house "Dr Ivan Bogorov". ISBN 978-954-316-069-3. Kovachev, Pencho. 50 Golden Bulgarian Films. Sofia: Publishing house "Zahariy Stoyanov". ISBN 978-954-09-0281-4. Stoyan Gadev on IMDb