Chinese Student’s Quest for Bank Career Ends at Marathon

Lu Lingzi traveled from China to the U.S. last year, hoping that a graduate degree in statistics from Boston University would help her land a job as a financial analyst for an investment bank.

On April 15, a day off from school because of a Massachusetts holiday, she went with two friends to see the Boston Marathon, which draws hundreds of thousands of spectators each year along the 26-mile (42-kilometer) route. She was killed in one of two explosions near the race’s finish line, according to Boston University’s website. Authorities have called them an act of terror.

In the tight-knit graduate statistics program at the school, Lu was known as a bright and personable leader. She never missed the monthly social events for the program and was spokeswoman when students met with faculty to discuss classwork or other issues.

“She was a very enthusiastic, energetic, diligent and hard-working student,” said Tasso Kaper, chairman of the university’s Department of Mathematics & Statistics. “She was a leader among friends.”

One of those friends was Zhou Danling, another graduate student from China who joined her at the marathon. Kaper said the two were frequently together.

Friend Injured

Zhou was injured in one of the two blasts, which occurred about 2:50 p.m. local time. She underwent surgery April 16 and the following day, Robert Hill, dean of the university’s Marsh Chapel, said in a statement. Hill visited Zhou at Boston Medical Center both days.

“She is doing well,” said Hill. “She has her friends around her, and she will soon have family around her.”

Gina Orlando, a Boston Medical Center spokeswoman, said yesterday that Zhou’s family asked that the hospital not release her condition. On April 16, Orlando said Zhou was in serious condition.

Chinese students at Boston University were in front of the Marsh Chapel yesterday, gathering signatures and condolences from other students on a card to be sent to Lu’s family.

A local newspaper from Lu’s hometown, Shenyang Daily, reported yesterday that her friends and family had been trying to track down Lu when they learned about the bombing.

Family Search

Lu Jun, the father, told the Shenyang Daily that they tried to call their daughter’s phone but it was disconnected, so they asked their friends to fly to Boston to track her down. The whole family had been watching the news for information about Lu’s whereabouts, according to the paper.

On the morning of the marathon, Lu posted a photograph on the Chinese social-media site Weibo of her meal of bread and vegetables in ceramic bowl, calling it “my wonderful breakfast.”

On her Facebook page, Lu indicated she liked the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the movie “Up.”

Lu recently passed a major exam required for graduation from the program.

“I am so happy to get this result!” she wrote a professor in an e-mail, according to Kaper.

Kaper said she only needed to complete one more class to finish her work in the statistics program and was exploring internships for summer and fall.

The graduate program is competitive, with only about 5 percent of applicants admitted, Kaper said.

Lu won an undergraduate scholarship to the Beijing Institute of Technology, where she was an economics major, according to her page on the social-networking site LinkedIn. Before coming to Boston, she worked in banking and accounting jobs in Beijing.