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Allisonian Firsts: Ruth Koo

A virtual exhibition celebrating the bold Allisonians who became the "firsts" in their field.

Ruth Koo

First Chinese woman to graduate from Mount Allison University, 1957

Graduation portrait of Ruth Koo.

Ruth Koo, 1957

Taken from the 1957 Allisonian yearbook. May only be reproduced with permission of the Mount Allison University Archives.

Ruth Koo entered Mount Allison in the fall of 1954. She had previously studied at the Chinese Sr. High School, St. Paul College, and Hong Kong University. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in 1957 with a minor in Fine Arts. At the time of her graduation she hoped to become a social worker. Koo was the first Chinese woman to graduate from Mount Allison. She was part of a wave of Chinese students who attended Mount Allison in the post-war years, and came with her future husband, Benny Lam. Lam also earned a bachelor's degree from Mount Allison University, as well as a master's degree from the University of New Brunswick, and a PhD from McGill University. On September 28, 1957, Lam and Koo married. They lived in Montreal where Lam had a successful career as a scientist and a senior engineer.