This week @GUArchives has released a ‘tweet a day’ to celebrate Refugee Week Scotland. Tweets have included refugees who attended the University, such as Ernst Honigmann, a refugee at the age of 7 from Nazi Germany, who became a prominent Shakespearean and a founding Fellow of the Shakespeare Institute at Stratford-Upon-Avon; and Alexander Nove, an exile from Russia after the 1917 revolution, who became a distinguished Economist & Sovietologist.
Although not a refugee himself, Ren Mei’e from Ningbo, China, was undertaking his PhD in geomorphology under Edward Battersby Bailey, Professor of Geology at the University of Glasgow, when the Second Sino-Japanese War broke out in 1937. As secretary of the Glasgow Chinese Student Union, Ren was among the organisers of a flag day (raising funds by collecting in the street and door-to-door), which was held in Glasgow in 1938 to raise funds for the Chinese refugees of the Sino-Japanese War that was raging [see John Z. Shi, In memoriam Ren Mei-e (1913 – 2008), Journal of Coastal Research, Number 252:526-527. 2009]. At the same time, the International Student Service was also campaigning through to raise money for Chinese Universities with the motto “A Shilling from you will do it” [GUAS REf: DC198/1/44, Glasgow University Magazine, 17th November 1937].
Despite this, Ren would return to China and through his contributions to geoscience was was awarded the Victoria Medal from the Royal Geographical Society of London in 1986, and made an Academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the highest academic or professional honor in China.