Vivian Ling

Profile Updated: August 19, 2020
Residing In: Laguna Woods, CA USA
Spouse/Partner: James E Dew
Occupation/Avocations/Volunteering: basically college professor
Children, Grandchildren or who do/did you nurture/facilitate intensively? son Stephen Hsu (Yale '93)
daughter Andrea Hsu (Swarthmore '95)
god-daughter Mandy Lu (Guilford More…'14)
grandson Dylan Yiyang Hsu Laris (b. Aug 23, 2014)
School Story:

Confession: In my senior year, aside from climbing the Clothier Tower, which was one of the sanctioned to-do's for seniors, I also climbed around the rim of the roof of Parrish Hall. The vantage point was not as high as from Clothier Tower, but the view was just as spectacular, and it did get my adrenalin racing a bit. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only '65 classmate who has done this. So now is the time for any of you who has done the same to stand up and fess up!


Kiki has already published my memoir in the most recent unexpurgated class notes, so here is the in-a-nutshell version. I've been tremendously fortunate to have been at the right time and place to benefit from opportunities that led to a fulfilling career and family life. When I retired a few months ago, I suddenly woke up and wondered where the half century since college graduation has gone! I now have the luxury to engage with old friends, contemplate whatever catches my fancy, and reminisce about all the funny things that have crossed my life's path. I would love to be in touch with fellow Swarthmore alums regardless of age and gender in my neck of the woods (near Irvine, CA or Tampa, FL).

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Apr 09, 2024 at 4:33 AM
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Jul 31, 2023 at 2:05 PM
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Apr 09, 2023 at 4:33 AM
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Apr 09, 2022 at 12:16 PM

Posted on: Apr 09, 2022 at 4:33 AM

Vivian Ling has a birthday today.
Apr 09, 2021 at 4:33 AM
Vivian Ling added a photo to her profile gallery.
Aug 19, 2020 at 1:08 PM
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Aug 18, 2020 at 11:37 AM

I was at the virtual Celebration of John Thoms' life on 8/16 and found it supremely moving. I don't think there was a single pair of dry eyes at the gathering, including mine. It was wonderful to get so intimately acquainted with John and Judy's adult children, who shared themselves with everyone around them, in the same way as their father But here I want to give voice to my feeling that I was witnessing a beautiful celebration of Judy's half century (plus) life with John as well. I hope to hear more about that part of her journey in the future, especially the last five years when her life must have become increasingly consumed by caring for John. I have recently begun my journey of caring for my husband descending into dementia, and I have founded a local Family Caregivers Support Group. In this situation, I see Judy as a beacon, even though so far I know so little about that beacon.
Now a totally different topic: Does anyone know how we can change the photo attached to our name? For me and probably some other classmates, the image that we would like to project today is very different from our high school senior year!

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Apr 09, 2020 at 4:36 AM
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Apr 09, 2019 at 4:33 AM
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Apr 09, 2018 at 4:33 AM
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May 02, 2017 at 1:38 PM
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Apr 09, 2016 at 4:33 AM
Vivian Ling has left an In Memory comment for Rene-Valery Mongbe.
Jan 07, 2016 at 12:33 PM

Thank you Barbara and Peter for helping us reconnect with our classmate Rene Mongbe.  I remember him well, and feel privileged to have known this man in his youth when I myself was too young and inexperienced to know anythng.  Rene dated many women at Swarthmore, myself included.  We went to some dances and such, but I now wish I had more conversations with him.

Vivian Ling posted a message.
Jun 09, 2015 at 7:48 AM

I never knew college reunions can be so much fun until I attended my first - the 50th! And having a mini family reunion within this big reunion made it even more joyful than one can ever imagine!

Vivian Ling has a birthday today.
Apr 09, 2015 at 4:34 AM
Vivian Ling has left an In Memory comment for Deborah Poole Bhattacharya.
Nov 24, 2014 at 12:33 AM

The thought that more than 10% of our class are no longer with us is quite sobering, especially since I still have vivid memories of every one of the 25 deceased classmates.  These memories are mostly images from over half a century ago, when all of us were youthful, vibrant, and a little bit awkward (some of us more so than others)...with the exception of Debbie Poole (Bhattacharyya), with whom I maintained contact on and off until she was too consumed by cancer to communicate herself, at which point her daughter Karabi periodically updated her friends on the final chapter of her life.  One might say Debbie was "unconventional," but to my mind, she seemed to carry the hallmarks of a Swattie: followed her heart, rose to every challenge, charged fearlessly into unknown territory, and lived a very rich life serving mankind.  But Debbie was by no means wealthy in the conventional sense, but rather in the way Thoreau defined wealth:  "Wealth is the ability to fully experience life."  This path to "wealth" began when Debbie took a leave from Swarthmore after her freshman year - at age 19 - to join a French organization called "Service Internationale."  She served in India, and within a year, she became a bride to an Indian colleague in the same organization, and within a year thereafter, mother to Karabi.  Subsequently, she had another daughter named Ketaki.  For a period of a few years, Debbie and I found ourselves in the same neck of the woods, she at Wittenberg College and I at Oberlin.  Other than that, the territories that Debbie ventured into were different from mine, so I feel especially privileged to have shared her life experiences, however vicariously.

Vivian Ling has left an In Memory comment for Stephanie Fantl Troyer.
Nov 24, 2014 at 12:33 AM

I did not have the good fortune of having Stephanie as a close friend at Swarthmore, and now I realize what a great opportunity I missed.  I only remember her as friendly (always had a smile), self-confident, comfortable in her own skin, and brilliant as a mathematician.  In short, she was one of the many classmates who awed me.  It's not entirely true that we choose our own paths; actually, when we are young, we tend to willy-nilly end up on certain paths not by any conscious choice.  If I hadn't missed the opportunity for a friendship with Stephanie, my life might have taken an entirely different path.  As a freshman arriving at Swarthmore, I thought I was destined to be a mathematician or a physicist, for I loved and excelled in these two areas in high school.  But it wasn't long before I got my first inkling that maybe math wasn't for me...this occurred when my faculty advisor asked me something to the effect "what is a sweet girl like you doing in math?"  Soon I also discovered that there is the "math" that I did before Swarthmore and then there is the "MATH" that math majors in Swarthmore did, and my kind of "math" didn't necessarily provide a smooth path into "MATH"!  I don't regret one bit the career path that I eventually chose, but I have wondered what the untraveled path might have been if I had Stepanie Fantl - or Lonnie Roth, or any of the few other brilliant woman mathematicians at Swarthmore - as a close friend and role model.  Over the years, I've often wondered about their career paths, and what mine might have been like.  With my deepest admiration and friendship in the afterlife, Vivian     

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