Founded in 1983 in honor of John Fisher Zeidman ’79, the Chinese Studies Program includes language, history, and culture curricula in all divisions of the school, as well as an alumni fellowship program, a student exchange program, student travel to China, and an annual lecture series.
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John Zeidman, a 1979 graduate of Sidwell Friends, forged a new perspective of the world and his life through the study of China. He began studying Chinese language in college and, during his junior year, traveled to Beijing to study at Beijing Normal University. Sadly, not long after arriving in China, John became ill and died.
After his death, John’s family and friends established the John Fisher Zeidman ’79 Chinese Studies Fund to perpetuate his belief that Chinese-American relations would thrive if students began to study Chinese language, history, and culture in secondary school. Endowed by this fund, the Chinese Studies Program was inaugurated at Sidwell Friends in 1983. Since its inception, the program has grown significantly and is woven into every division of the School.
Head of School Bryan Garman describes the origins of the John Fisher Zeidman ‘79 Chinese Studies Program.