Main Page

From YihongForever

In Memory of Yihong Xia (September 5th, 1970 – August 6th, 2005)

Yihong Xia

Yihong Xia (夏一红), a talented young scholar in finance [1], passed away at 10: 27 am EST, August 6, 2005. Yihong had been diagnosed with TTP ([2]) only weeks before her passing. She is survived by her parents, Jinqi Xia and Zhenghua Fang, her husband Guiming Miao, her brother, Xinhong Xia, and her six year old daughter, Jessica Miao.

This is a forum for her family, friends, colleagues, students and anyone whose life had been touched by hers, to share memory of Yihong's short but brilliant life.


Anyone who register at this site can easily contribute. Just log in and add to the discussion.

If you want to be a volunteer admin (sysop) of the site, register and send an email to yihongforever@gmail.com

Thank you.




Professor Michael Brennan's Eulogy at Memorial Service for Yihong Xia


The Church of Saint Margaret

Narberth, PA

August 17, 2005


Guiming has asked me to say a few words about Yihong. This is an honor that breaks my heart.

Yihong was an astounding young woman whom we all loved, and who was loved by a much larger circle of friends than can be here today to say goodbye. Her parents who have come on this sad journey here must be proud of her and her accomplishments.

Yihong was highly intelligent. She was extremely hard working. She was highly ambitious - that is why she came to the US at the age of 23. She was brave and courageous - it takes courage to come to a university in a foreign country when you have only an uncertain command of the language - Yihong told me about her economics professor at Emory, how she could not understand what he was saying in class, and how surprised she was to do well in the first exam. It takes courage for a small Chinese woman at the age of 30 to face a class of Wharton MBA's. She was strong and independent - she had decided views and they were not always easy to change - Yihong and I had lots of arguments. She was interested in her new culture without accepting it uncritically. She was generous to her friends and colleagues –helping fellow students at first, and later doctoral students, sharing her lecture notes with colleagues and so on. Most of all, Yihong was enormous fun to be with. She liked to joke, gossip, tease and be teased, as well as to talk more seriously. When I saw her in hospital, she could not talk - but she smiled as I reminded her of what a chatterbox she usually was. Yihong enjoyed her professional success - particularly in this past year or so when she had got her Green Card and could travel to Vienna, London, Stockholm, Cambridge, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and China. At the time of her death she was planning trips toSwitzerland and India and no doubt other places as well.

But despite her professional success, what really defined Yihong was her family. As we worked together and I occasionally stayed in their home, I got to know a lot about Yihong and her family. She talked to me often about Guiming and Jessica, and since her death Guiming has told me more about the closeness of their relationship.

Guiming was a devoted husband - he came to America, not for the personal opportunities that America offers, but because he wanted to be with Yihong. He was lucky - Yihong agreed to marry him, even though it meant them being apart for the better part of four years while she studied at UCLA and he was in Atlanta. Of course they got together when they could, and Jessica was born 2 years later while Yihong was still a doctoral student. This posed a considerable challenge to Yihong, a doctoral student with a baby in a foreign country, separated from her husband except when he could get over for weekends. Fortunately, Yihong's parents and later Guiming's parents were able to come over for extended visits to help look after Jessica.

Yihong was a devoted mother who never allowed her professional responsibilities to come ahead of the needs of her daughter. Guiming was often away because of his work and Yihong often looked after Jessica alone. She stinted no sacrifice for Jessica. Driving her to school for ballet, gym, Chinese language lessons, piano and so on. She would often interrupt a telephone conversation with me to say that she had to go and get Jessica. I wish I had the words to express the loss that Guiming and Jessica have suffered. I know that Yihong would be proud of Guiming's strength at this difficult time.

Yihong was also very attached to her own parents. As I mentioned, they did a lot to help, even though it cannot have been much fun for them living in an American suburb and not speaking the language. I think it was better for them in the student housing at UCLA where there were lots of Chinese students. Yihong would often talk about her parents, especially her mother. "My mom did this or that"she would say. And of course, Guiming's parents were staying when Yihong died.

There is not time for me to talk in detail about Yihong's life, but let me sketch it in terms of two great journeys. The first is a remarkable journey from a small village in China to a position on the Wharton School faculty. Yihong was born in 1970 – today would have been her 36th birthday according to the Chinese lunar calendar which takes account of time in the womb. Her mother was an accountant and her father graduated from an aerospace institute. During elementary school Yihong lived with her grandmother in a small village. I remember one time saying how remarkable was her energy and intelligence given the relatively poor diet that was available in the countryside in China at the time. She told me that her grandmother kept chickens and saw that Yihong had an egg every day to ensure that she had enough protein. I think that she was her grandmother's favourite. Her grandmother died this year just before Yihong could see her during her visit to China. When I had known Yihong for many years I plucked up courage to ask her about some scars she had on her hand - I imagined that they were the result of some burn. She told me that they were scars from chilblains which she had got by sitting up studying in the cold as a child. So that life was pretty hard by our standards today but Yihong looked back on it with fondness.

She told me that she was not an outstanding student in elementary school, but in her early teens she started to do really well in school and, as a result, was sent at the age of 15 to a special boarding school in the city of Yang Zhou. From there she went home only between semesters although by then her mother was able to visit her at weekends.

She obviously did well in this secondary school for she was admitted to Fudan University to study International Economics in 1989 when she was 19. Jun Qian, who is on the faculty at Boston College and is here today, was a contemporary, and writes that when he saw her he thoughtshe was "a junior high student - she looked so tiny and young - soon however he found that this little girl had so much intelligence, courage, toughness, determination and love for life and other people. He was only the first of many who were to be misled by appearances. He paints a picture of her being the first at a large early morning class to get a front row seat, and another of her quietly walking by a bunch of guys one evening in her freshman year, with her bag on her shoulder, smiling and waving at them. She graduated in 1992 and a year later entered the PhD Program at Emory. In the intervening year she worked for Sanwa Bank in Shanghai, and it was there that she met Guiming who was her Japanese tutor.

They fell in love and a year later Guiming left his doctoral studies in China to join her at Emory. They were married in 1996 and Yihong came to UCLA in August that year. I met Yihong a year later when she had completed her doctoral exams and knocked on my door asking if she could help with my research. I think it was Henry Cao who had directed her to my door. In the years to come I was to find that it was I who was helping Yihong with her research - mainly by making minor corrections to the English. We had a great time working together. Not that we always saw eye to eye. But we were good friends and even when we had serious disagreements there was nothing personal in them. I was proud to see her graduate and take a position at Wharton in 2000, but sorry to see her leave UCLA - but within a year we were once more collaborating and that collaboration continued to her death – indeed she leaves me today with papers under revision and review.

I will not say any more about her academic life but turn instead to a parallel journey that Yihong was making, about which I know much less. This is her journey from Maoist China to this Catholic requiem Mass.

When Yihong came to UCLA she found rooms through the internet with a lady from Taiwan who was a catholic. This lady had a major influence on Yihong, taking her to Mass regularly. In fact we went to the same church but I think Yihong and her landlady always went to the last Mass on Sunday evening so I never saw them. Yihong used to tell me that they were always late for Mass. But this lady, Joan along with her brother Ignatius who is with us today, had a tremendous influence on Yihong.

I used to talk to Yihong occasionally about religion and once went to Mass with her here in Pennsylvania; she knew a lot about Christianity and Catholicism, but on the whole this was not a topic between us. So I was very surprised this last June when we were out to dinner with my wife and Jun Liu, and Yihong said out of the blue that I should have made more effort to persuade her to become a catholic. I promised to do so in the future and even offered her a bet that if I were right on a certain academic matter she should defer to my judgement by becoming a catholic. She did not respond to that.

But when she was sick I called Guiming to say that I thought she should be baptised. Again I was surprised to hear that she had already been baptised and that the hospital chaplain was visiting her. When I saw her in the hospital three days before she died she could not speak but she was smiling and relaxed and quite at peace. It is hard not to see the hand of God in this progression. St Paul tells us that, for the Christian, death means that life is changed, not taken away. I am quite sure that this is the case for Yihong and that she is smiling down on us from heaven and praying for strength for Guiming and Jessica and those she has left behind. God bless her.



夏一红葬礼上的悼词


Michael Brennan教授

李新梅译

贵铭让我在此为一红致悼词,这是一项令我心碎的殊荣。

一红是一位令人喜爱和惊叹的年轻女性,爱她的人远远超过今天能到场向她永别的人。而她赶赴此次悲伤之旅的父母一定会为他们出色的女儿感到骄傲。

一红极其聪慧、勤奋、雄心勃勃——因此她23岁时来到美国。她非常勇敢 ——来到国外进入一所大学,面对自己还没有完全掌握的外语,是需要勇气的。一红曾经跟我谈到她在Emory上学的时候,尽管她听不懂经济学教授第一节课在讲什么,她还是令人惊讶地在第一次期中考试中就获得优异的成绩。当一位看上去弱小的30岁的中国女性面对沃顿商学院MBA的学生时,是同样需要勇气的。她坚强而独立——她非常有主见,不会轻易动摇——我们经常发生争论。她对美国文化非常感兴趣,但不会盲目地全盘接受。她对朋友和同事非常慷慨——乐于帮助那些同学、博士生,和同事们分享她的讲义。更重要的是,一红是一个招人喜欢和有趣的人,她既会严肃地谈话,更喜欢开玩笑、闲扯、戏弄人和被人戏弄。当我到医院去看她的时候,她已经不能说话了,我逗她说她从前可是个话匣子时,她笑了。

一红愉悦于自己成功的事业——特别是去年她获得绿卡后能够到维也纳、伦敦、斯德哥尔摩、剑桥、澳大利亚、新加坡、香港和中国各地出差;直到她去世前她还在计划去瑞士和印度等地的行程。

但是除了她成功的事业,真正能体现一红的是她的家庭生活。我们在一起工作,我有时候还住在她家里,这使我得以了解一红的家庭生活。她经常跟我谈起贵铭和Jessica。她去世以后,贵铭让我更多地了解了他们之间的深情。

贵铭是一个乐于奉献的丈夫——他来美国不是因为个人的发展机会,而是为了能够跟一红在一起。他很幸运——一红愿意嫁给他,虽然这意味着四年中大半的分离生活,一红在UCLA念书,而贵铭远在亚特兰大。他们总是尽可能相聚。两年以后Jessica出生了,当时一红还在读博士学位,这真是一个巨大的挑战:一个带着刚出生的孩子在国外读博士学位的女子,丈夫不在身边,只能在周末来探望。幸运的是,先是一红的父母、后来贵铭的父母来美国帮助他们照看Jessica。

一红是一个乐于奉献的妈妈,她女儿的需要永远比她的事业更重要。贵铭由于工作关系经常要出差,一红常常一个人带着Jessica。一红为Jessica毫不吝惜时间和精力:开车带Jessica去学校学芭蕾、体操、中文、钢琴等等。一红经常中断与我的电话,说要去接Jessica了。我难以表述一红的去世带给贵铭和Jessica的痛苦和损失,但我知道一红会为贵铭在这段艰难时期表现出的坚强感到骄傲。

一红与自己父母的关系也非常紧密。一红的父母为了帮助她照顾孩子,住在美国的郊区,再加上语言不通,生活一定不是那么有趣。我想住在UCLA的学生公寓对他们会更好些,因为周围有很多中国学生。一红经常谈到她的父母,特别是她的妈妈,她总是说“我妈做了这个或那个”。一红去世的时候,贵铭的父母在他们的身边。

因为没有足够的时间让我陈说一红一生的生活细节,我将一红的一生概况为两大历程。

第一个辉煌历程是一红从中国的一个小村庄走入美国的沃顿商学院任教。

一红出生于1970年,按照中国虚岁的说法,今天是她36岁的生日。她的妈妈是一名会计,她的爸爸毕业于航天学院。上小学的时候一红跟她的外婆生活在一个小村庄。我记得有一次聊起来,在当时中国乡村食物短缺的情况下长大的一红却如此聪明和精力旺盛时,一红说外婆养鸡,每天都要给她吃一个鸡蛋,以确保她获得足够的蛋白质。我想她是外婆最宠爱的孩子。就在一红今年回中国探亲之前,她的外婆去世了。在认识一红许多年以后我才敢问起她手上的伤疤——我猜想那是烫伤的,但是一红告诉我那是她小时候读书时冻的冻疮。以我们今天的标准来看,当时的生活条件极其艰苦,但是一红回忆起来却充满感情。

她告诉我她小学的时候不是一个出色的学生,但是到了中学的时候她开始表现出色,这使她15岁的时候进入了扬州一所著名的寄宿中学。从那时起,只有在学校学期结束放假的时候她才回家,虽然她母亲可以在每个周末来看她。

她一定在中学表现非常出色,1988年在她18岁的时候,她被复旦大学世界经济系录取了。现在波士顿大学执教、今天也来参加一红葬礼的钱军,是一红当年的同学。他最初看到一红的时候以为她是一个中学生——她看上去很瘦小——但是他很快就发现这个小姑娘充满智慧、勇气、坚韧、主见和对生活和其他人的热爱。他是众多被一红外表误导的人之一。他描绘了一红一大早就去教室占前排位子、以及大一的一个晚上,她背着书包含笑冲一帮男同学招手的样子。

1992年她从复旦大学毕业,一年以后她进入 Emory读博士。其间的一年她在日本三和银行上海分行工作,正是在这个时候她遇到了贵铭——她的日语老师。

他们坠入爱河。一年以后贵铭放弃了他在中国的博士学业,和一红一起到Emory。他们1996年结婚,同年8月一红到UCLA念书。我认识一红是在她完成博士考试一年之后。有一天她敲响了我的门,问我她是否能对我的研究工作有所帮助。我想是曹辉宁(Henry )让她来的。在随后的几年里,我却发现我只是在帮助一红纠正她的研究工作中的一些小的英文错误。我们在一起工作得非常愉快,并不是说我们总是意见一致,可我们是好朋友,即使我们有非常严重的意见分歧时,也不会掺杂个人恩怨。她博士毕业、2000年去沃顿商学院任教,我为她感到自豪的同时也为她离开UCLA而难过——但是不到一年,我们再次成为合作者,这种合作直到她生命的最后一刻——至今我还有她留给我需要修订的论文。

我要从她的学术历程转到另一条我了解得少得多的历程:从毛泽东的中国到今天的天主教安魂弥撒的历程。

一红刚到UCLA的时候,她通过互联网找房子结识了她的房东——一个中国女子,她是天主教徒。她时常带一红去弥撒,给予一红很深的影响。事实上我和他们去的是同一个教堂,但是也许因为一红和她的房东总是参加周日晚上的最后一场弥撒,所以我从来没有在教堂碰到他们。一红曾跟我说他们去做弥撒的时候总是迟到。这位女士——Joan和她的大哥——Ignatius今天也和我们在一起,他们在宗教方面给予一红很深的影响。

我曾跟一红偶尔谈到宗教,我也曾跟一红去过宾州的教堂做弥撒:她对基都教和天主教都非常了解,但总的来说,这不是我们之间经常的话题。今年6月份我和妻子、刘峻和一红在一起出去吃晚饭的时候,一红突然说我应该早些努力说服她成为天主教徒。我当时很吃一惊,同时承诺以后一定做到。我甚至跟她打赌,如果我在某个学术问题上正确了,她应该尊重我的判断,成为一个天主教徒。她当时并没有说什么。

但是在她生病的时候,我给贵铭打电话建议一红接受洗礼。当贵铭告诉我她已经接受洗礼、医院的牧师已来看望过她时,我又吃了一惊。她去世前三天我到医院去看她时,她已经不能说话了。但是她面带微笑,看上去放松而平和。最后阶段如果没有感知上帝的帮助将会是极为艰难痛苦的。

圣保罗告诉我们,对于基督徒来说,死亡意味着生命的转换而不是消失。我坚信一红正是如此,她从天国冲我们微笑,为贵铭和Jessica以及她身后所有的人祈祷勇气和力量。上帝祝福一红。