Born November 11, 1897 in Bangkok, Siam (now Thailand), Boon Lieng came to Evanston c. 1917 to attend Northwestern University. He lived for a while in Haven Dormitory and then moved into Lindgren House at 2309 Sheridan Rd. An honor roll student, Lieng was treasurer of the Cosmopolitan Club, a campus group for foreign students. He was also a member of the Order of the Barb – a group for students who were not members of fraternities. He also took part in campus tennis tournaments. Lieng graduated with a B.S. degree in 1921. Lieng was one of the earliest students from Siam to come to the U.S. to pursue undergraduate education. Beginning in the late 1890s, the Siamese government chose a handful of the country’s “best and brightest” to study abroad, all expenses paid by King Vajiravudh (known as “King’s Scholarships.”) After earning their degrees, they returned to Siam. In 1917, a grand total of 15 students from Siam came to the U.S. to study. While living in Evanston, Boon Lieng registered for selective service (“the draft”). At the time, all men between 21-31 yrs old were required to register, whether or not they were U.S. citizens.
At this point, we haven’t uncovered the rest of Boon Lieng’s story. But we will update this page as new information is uncovered. It’s part of our ongoing effort to research ASPA history in Evanston.
November 11, 1897 - Bangkok, Siam (now Thailand)