Sayas at Harvard University

Update : December 1, 2020

  • In the early and mid 50s, 400+ Burmese State Scholars studied in the USA.
  • There were programs to cover several disciplines : Engineering, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Botany, Zoology, …, Sports and Physical Education, Movie Technology.
  • Under the “Twinning Program between the Faculty of Engineering and the prestigious universities in the USA” proposed by Sayagyi U Ba Hli, first native Dean of Engineering and Professor of Civil Engineering, engineering students (e.g. Dr. Aung Gyi, U Min Wun, U Khin Aung Kyi) and engineering sayas (e.g. U Sein Hlaing, U Tin Swe) were selected as State Scholars to pursue undergraduate and graduate studies at US Universities.
  • Two prestigious universities (MIT and Harvard) are quite close.
  • Several sayas attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
  • Dr. F Ba Hli (GBNF) received Sc.D (Doctor of Science) in EE (Electrical Engineering).
    He mentored Dr. Aung Gyi and U Min Wun.
    He served as DG of UBARI, Advisor at the Ministry of National Planning, and Board Member and External Examiner at UCC.
    He passed away in Sydney, Australia.
  • U Sein Hlaing (GBNF) received MSEE from MIT.
    He retired as Professor and Head of the Electrical Engineering Department at RIT.
    He passed away a couple of years after retirement.
  • Dr. Aung Gyi received BSCE and MSCE from MIT.
    He retired as Rector of RIT.
    He moved to Canada.
  • U Min Wun received BSCE from MIT and MSCE from Cornell University.
    He retired as Professor and Head of the Civil Engineering Department at RIT.
    He moved to California, USA.
  • U Khin Aung Kyi (GBNF) received BS and MS in Chemical Engineering from MIT.
    He retired as Rector of RIT.
    He passed away at the tender age of 89.
  • Later MIT alumni include Dr. San Hla Aung (C58) and U San Tun (M59).
  • Several sayas attended Harvard University.
  • U Ba Toke received AM in Mathematics from Harvard University.
    He served as Professor of Mathematics at RASU and Rector of MASU.
    He voluntarily transferred to RIT as Professor of (Engineering) Mathematics.
    He will celebrate his 100th birthday on December 26, 2020.
    His life journey and achievements have been recorded in a book by his former student and colleague Tekkatho Maung Thin Char (Dr. Khin Maung Swe, GBNF).
  • U San Tha Aung (GBNF) received AM in Physics from Harvard University.
    He passed away while serving as Director General of Higher Education.
  • Later Harvard alumni include U Allen Htay (C58, GBNF).

Group Photo

The group photo of the sayas attending the two universities was taken at Harvard.

An Education Delegation was visiting Harvard at the time.

Dr. Yan Naing Lwin (Emeritus Professor of Physics, Western Illinois University) wrote :

When we arrived the US first time in 1955 we had a few days in Boston before leaving for New York. We met all the Sayas you mentioned except Dr. Freddie Ba Hli who had returned to Burma. There were about 140 Burmese State Scholars in 1955 when I arrived.

The summer of 1955 in August we visited Harvard & MIT again. We met Saya U Ba Toke at Harvard. Also, Daw Thein Nyunt & Daw Tin Saw Mu who were visiting the States.-

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