The Johanneans

St. John’s University in Shanghai, opened in 1879 by American missionaries, quickly became the leading university in China. Students received instruction in both English and Chinese as well as training in Western science, technology, and medicine. The first generations of doctors trained in Western medicine graduated from St. John’s, and many graduates achieved fame and fortune. Although the university was permanently closed in 1952, its alumni spread all over the world. Many became successful in new places but they never forgot their alma mater, continuing to meet regularly wherever they went.  A large number of Johanneans, as the alumni are known, migrated from Hong Kong to Canada. In 1997, the Johanneans founded St. John’s College at the University of British Columbia as a testament to the living memory of SJU-Shanghai. Highly educated and accomplished, theirs is a remarkable set of Chinese Canadian stories.