V. K. Wellington Koo (1887-1985) was a distinguished Chinese diplomat who held a Ph.D in international law and diplomacy from Columbia University. Dr. Koo served at various times as China’s ambassador to France, Great Britain and the United States. He was also an international statesman who helped to found both the League of Nations and the United Nations.
Once, Dr. Koo was invited to give an after-dinner speech at Princeton University. As there was no head table on this occasion, Dr. Koo found himself seated next to a burly football player who hadn’t the faintest idea of who he was. During the first course of the dinner, the football player, in a lame effort to make conversation turned to Dr. Koo and asked, “Likee soup?” Dr. Koo smiled and said nothing.
In due course, Dr. Koo was invited to mount the rostrum. He then delivered a speech that was not only learned and elegant, but witty and diverting as well. Amid the thunderous applause that followed, Dr. Koo returned to his table, smiled indulgently at the by now thoroughly abashed football player and inquired, “Likee speech?”