Two Thousand Masks Arrive at the Social Work Building, a Donation from Chinese Alumni for COVID-19 Relief

May 27, 2020 @ 9:01 pm

Shanghai-based alumna Ting Ding (pictured) arranged for a delivery of surgical masks to her alma mater on Amsterdam Avenue.

As part of a wider effort by Columbia University alumni in Greater China to send masks, face shields, medical gloves and other personal protective equipment (PPE) to frontline workers working to stop the spread of the coronavirus on the East Coast, CSSW alumni in China, led by Ting Ding (MSW ’14), organized a shipment of 2,000 surgical masks to the School of Social Work. Professor Julien Teitler signed for the packages upon their delivery to the Social Work Building, 1255 Amsterdam Avenue, on April 23.

“It means so much to us in New York that our community in China is looking out for us,” said Dean Melissa Begg. “As the pandemic has reshaped our daily lives, New Yorkers have turned to the inspirational example of Chinese social workers, scientists, and healthcare providers who have demonstrated leadership in responding to the crisis; and it makes us so proud to count CSSW alumni among them.”

Professor Qin Gao, who was in communication with Ting Ding to facilitate the donation, noted that the boxes of masks were labeled with the motto on Columbia’s official seal, In Lumine Tuo videbimus lumen (In Thy light shall we see the light), along with its Chinese translation—in recognition of the unifying power of Columbia University’s community, which stretches worldwide.

Ting, who studied Social Enterprise Administration and now lives in Shanghai, was one of several CSSW alumni to become active in an initiative started up in March by Reifun Xu (SEAS+GSAPP) and Cathy Xu (CBS). Their goal was to raise funds for procuring and distributing PPE to over ten hospitals in New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts, to New York City’s fire and police departments, and to Columbia students, faculty members, and administrators who live on or near campus.

Ting said, “It is my honor and pleasure to work with alumni in 18 alumni clubs all over China in this effort. Once a Columbian, always a Columbian. We are still working to raise more funds and get more equipment for hospitals and communities in our beloved New York City.”