Ying Wu, left, and Ming Qu are profiled at USC's Neon Tommy by a Chinese journalism student who was able to gather information in Mandarin from social media. Corrina Shuang Liu writes that the pair came from humble backgrounds, unlike the image some believe that they were spoiled rich kids. Excerpt from her story:
Qu was born on April 12, 1988 in Jilin province in northeast China. According to Chinese media, his father works in an insurance company and his mother is a teacher....
Smart and diligent, Qu has always been a role model during every stage of his school life. He was admitted to Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, one of the best colleges in China for science and technology. Qu scored 680 (out of 750) on an exam similar to SAT in China.
"Do you know I’m jealous of you? You are handsome, smart and always had high GPA," said a friend who wrote a condolence for Qu on the Chinese social media Renren.com.
Wu was born in October 1988. She grew up in Changde, Hunan province, in a city in the southern part of China. Her father is a policeman and her mother is a retired textile factory worker.
"You told me you went to watch the 3D Titanic. You were moved by the great love and you said life is unpredictable," Ye Jing, Wu’s best friend, said at the memorial service.
Wu graduated from Beijing Information Science and Technology University in 2010 and came to the USC that fall, majoring in Digital Signal Processing.
Nice, open and easygoing, Wu had many friends both in and out of the Viterbi School.
"When I knew the student killed was a Chinese graduate in Viterbi, my first reaction was to call Wu," one of her classmates said. "But she didn’t answer it and it went to the voicemail. My heart sank. When it was confirmed that she was the one, my tears immediately rolled down."
The photo above is credited by Neon Tommy to Gracie Zheng.