Participating Colleges

Mt. Holyoke


The Carleton Mission was organized in 1903 to support missionary work at some station in China under the auspices of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. Within a few years the locus of that support became the American Board's Fenchow [later Fenyang] station, in Shanxi province--an Oberlin-supported station which Carleton was permitted first to share responsibility for, and eventually to adopt entirely while Oberlin focused on the sister station in nearby Taigu. At Fenchow the mission complex grew to include church, schools, and hospital, and Carleton alumni were prominent on the mission staff. Under the Carleton-in-China plan begun in 1922 and lasting into the 1940s, Carleton regularly sent student representatives to teach English at Fenchow station's Ming I Middle School, usually for overlapping two year appointments. After 1949 Carleton-in-China reconstituted itself, in somewhat different form, into Carleton-in-Japan.

Records and documention concerning the Carleton Mission Board, Fenchow mission, and Carleton-in-China are held by the Carleton College Archives, located on Level 1 of Carleton's Gould Library. The Archives is open when staff is present, which is generally the case Monday through Friday 9-5, but can be guaranteed for particular times only by appointment. Please contact Eric Hillemann, College Archivist, at or 507-646-4270.
Digital collection of interest: Haldore Hanson's China Collection (1937-1938)


DePauw University's connection with China dates back to John Ing's early work as a missionary. Ing, an 1870 graduate of Indiana Asbury University (IAU - changed to DePauw in 1884) had been sent to Chicichiang and later Wu Cheu, by the St. Louis Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Although Ing soon left China for work in Japan, others followed him. Notable was Wilbur Fisk Walker, IAU 1868, and his son, Guy Morrison Walker, 1890. In the twentieth century, DePauw president, George P. Grose, was named bishop in the ME church and moved to China in 1924. DePauw alumni, Marie Adams, 1914, and Roxy Lefforge,1920 were missionaries to China following graduation. Not all of DePauw's China connection involved mission work. Some alumni in China worked in the fields of teaching, journalism, business, art, health services and military service. Some information in the joint university/church archives indicates the existence of student organizations such as the Cosmopolitan Club and the Chinese Student Association.

The collections on China consist of university newspaper and magazine articles, yearbooks, photographs, manuscript collections on some alumni, historical essays and alumni directories. All collections surveyed are part of the Archives of DePauw University and Indiana United Methodism located in the Roy O. West Library, DePauw University, Greencastle, Indiana, 46135. The Archives is open 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday and Tues. evenings 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. during the academic year and 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., Monday-Friday in the summer. Other hours can be arranged by appointment. Researchers may contact the Archives by mail or by phone at 765-658-4406, fax at 765-658-4423, e-mail at The Archives Web site is located at


Dickinson initially became involved with China through the work of an alumnus, Reverend Frank D. Gamewell. After graduating, Gamewell became a missionary for the Methodist Church and arrived in Beijing in October, 1881. Gamewell had a successful career in China, becoming superintendent of the West China Mission in 1886 where he oversaw the construction of most of the buildings in the mission. Gamewell returned to America for a time, but later became a professor at Peking University. During his tenure, he was called on by the mayor of Beijing to reinforce the city's fortifications during the Boxer Rebellion.

More information about Dickinson in China...


Grinnell-in-China began in 1916 after a graduate working in China noticed similar programs sponsored by other colleges. Grinnell-in-China was forged when Grinnell College established a formal relationship with the Porter-Wyckoff high schools in Dezhou, in Shandong Province. Grinnell provided monetary support, along with teachers and administrative staff. Grinnell also established a relationship with Shandong Christian University in Jinan. Grinnell severed all official relationships with Chinese institutions after 1930, due primarily to financial difficulties associated with the Depression. Despite this, Grinnellians working with the Porter-Wyckoff schools stayed in their positions and were still there when America declared war on Japan (who then had control of the province) in 1941. The Communists razed the compound in 1946. Grinnell reestablished a connection in China by its association with Nanjing University in 1987.

More information about Grinnell-in-China...

Collection Information:

Our collections include photographs, memoirs, correspondence, and newspaper clippings related to Grinnell-in-China. The Department of Special Collections and Archives is located in the Iowa Room on the lower level of Burling Library. The Iowa Room is open Monday through Friday, 1 p.m. -5 p.m., or by appointment. During the academic year, it is also open one night a week from 7 p.m. - 10 p.m. We welcome researchers and encourage anyone interested in using our collections to call ahead. Please contact Catherine Rod, College Archivist, at or 641-236-3364.


Haverford College was established as a Quaker institution in 1833 and located within the geographical boundaries of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, a Quaker meeting for business. Members of the Meeting first formed a missionary association in 1868 and posted the first missionaries to Japan in 1885. While there have been a considerable number of missionaries until the 1970s who were moved to serve in Japan, there was no established effort within Philadelphia Yearly Meeting to send missionaries to China. Nonetheless, Haverford College Library holdings include collections of some Quakers who served in China: William Warder Cadbury, class of 1898; Rufus M. Jones, class of 1885; and M. Wistar Wood. Haverford alumni and others supported the college's only missionary, Robert Simkin, class of 1903, during his work in China.

Haverford's China-related materials are located in the Special Collections Department of Magill Library. The department is open Monday through Friday, 9-12:30 & 1:30-4:30 p.m. during the academic year, and until 4:00 p.m. during the summer and student vacations. We encourage interested users to make an appointment. Please contact Diana Franzusoff Peterson, Manuscripts Librarian and College Archivist, call 610-896-1284, or visit our website:

Mount Holyoke

The Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections are located on the ground floor of Dwight Hall and the seventh floor of the Miles-Smith Science Library. The Archives and Special Collections collects and preserve the historic records of the College, manuscripts, are
books and ephemeral materials, and makes them available to Mount Holyoke College community and the public. For more information see the web site at:

Missionaries to China:


Oberlin College's relationship to China between 1900 and 1950 is best understood in two important phases. The first group of missionaries to go to China went, beginning in 1882, under the appointment of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. Numbering about thirty, their objective was to win Christian converts and to establish a center of learning modeled after Oberlin College. This was the Shansi Mission. To their Christian education ideal, the missionaries gradually added agricultural reform. This phase ended in the early 1900s. The ABCFM memorialized this phase by placing a Memorial Arch on the campus of Oberlin College in recognition of the missionaries (and family members) who lost their lives in the Boxer Rebellion. (cont.)

More information about Oberlin College...


During the first half of the twentieth century, Smith College's primary institutional connection in China was with Ginling College in Nanking. The relationship began in 1916, when the Smith College Association for Christian Work (SCACW) adopted Ginling as its foreign project. From 1916 to 1921, the SCACW collected financial contributions and sponsored activities such as letter writing between Ginling and Smith students. Interest in Ginling continued to increase among Smith students and alumnae during these years-as did Smith's annual financial contributions-and in 1921, Smith officially recognized Ginling as its sister college, followed two years later in 1923 by the establishment of the Smith Alumnae Committee for Ginling. A number of Smith alumnae fostered personal connections with Ginling by serving on its faculty. Several Smith faculty members also taught at Ginling during their leaves of absence from Smith. Organized support for Ginling faltered after the establishment of the People's Government in 1949, however, due to severe restrictions on financial transactions between the US and China and to concerns about the path Ginling-which was incorporated into National Ginling University in 1951-might take under government control. As a result, Smith notified its alumnae groups to cease collecting funds for Ginling, and by 1954 most local Ginling committees had disbanded.

More information about Smith's involvement with the China's Christian colleges...

  1. Ginling College Records in the Smith College Archives
  2. Information about the Smith College Archive


Wellesley, chartered in 1870, did not open its doors until 1875. It was founded by Henry Fowle Durant, and his wife, Pauline , for the Christian education of young women. The Durants were well known in evangelical and missionary circles.

From its earliest days, Wellesley had children of missionaries as students. Our copy of Fair is the Name: the story of the Shanghai American School, 1912-1950, by Phoebe White Wentworth, Angie Mills; with a foreword by John J. Espey. [Los Angeles : Shanghai American School Association, c1997] contains a list of individuals who attended both Shanghai American School and Wellesley College.

Students and faculty organized a Missionary Society in March 1876. In 1884 it became part of the newly created umbrella group, the Christian Association.

The Archives has minutes and reports of the Missionary Society (1876-1884), and some documentation on the Christian Association (with a gap from 1885 to 1898). Annual reports of the Christian Association included reports of the work of the Missionary Committee.

Wellesley students also participated in the Student Volunteer movement, but we have no records for this group.

These student groups were well aware of China. The first reference to China in the Missionary Society minutes was an April 1876 talk by Miss Pierce on missionary work in China. From 1877 on the Missionary Society, and later the Christian Association and later still the Service Organization, sent aid to individuals doing missionary work. Interestingly a February 1880 meeting of the Missionary Society devoted to China covered work among Chinese in California as well as missionary work in China.

Wellesley College alumnae began to go to China as missionaries or wives of missionaries in the early 1880s. The 1883-84 report of the Missionary Society mentions two former students doing work in China: Flora Jewell, enrolled 1879-80, and Miss Kate Wilson, enrolled 1881-82. It also noted that other alumnae were doing missionary work in Turkey, Japan, India, Hampden, Talledega, Atlanta, and Africa.

There is no master list of Wellesley alumnae who went to China as missionaries or wives of missionaries. However, when someone seeks information on a particular alumna, we usually can provide basic biographical information on her. Our best sources for this are 1) biographical files created by the Alumnae Association and transferred to the archives after the alumna's death, and 2) records in the Archives on her class, especially the class' record books or class letters—the "this is what I've been doing since our last reunion/record book or class letter" documents.

In some cases we know of, or have in the archives, books by faculty or alumnae describing their time working in China, or teaching in the China colleges.

And, although our archives does not normally collect alumnae papers, in rare cases we also have papers from faculty or alumnae pertaining to their travel, work or teaching in China. These include the travel letters, and scrapbooks, of former English professor Louise Manning Hodgkins for her 1900 around the world trip which included visits to China and Japan. We have an album of photos of China compiled by Margueritte Atterbury '18 , a daughter of missionaries who returned to Yenching to teach. There is a microfilm of letters of Miriam Boyd '21 to her fiance, Charles Parlin, during the year she taught at Yenching University (1923-24).

Our largest collection is the papers of Marian Rider Robinson '13. She and her husband, Arthur Robinson, served in China from1915 to 1937, first for the YMCA, then for the American Board (Congregational). The papers include her chronicle-type letters to her family 1(915-18, 1921-28, 1930-37), and photo albums she compiled.

Twice Wellesley College has been visited by delegations of officials from China.

In February 1906 a group of Chinese High Commissioners of Education was sent to a number of countries, including the United States, in part to review the educational system and institutions. The Dowager Empress wanted a woman's college to be included, so they visited Wellesley College on February 13, 1906. During the day's festivities President Hazard announced that the Wellesley trustees had established three scholarships for students from China.

The first Chinese students to receive this scholarship arrived in 1907. Faung Yuin Tsao enrolled as a special student for two years. Pingsa Hu and Chi Chi Wang, the two other students initially sent from China under the scholarship agreement, were not yet ready for college work. They did preparatory work at the Walnut Hill School before entering Wellesley College. They graduated from Wellesley College in 1913 and 1914.

Noted Chinese alumnae include Mayling Soong '17 [Madame Chiang Kai-shek], Grace Zia Chu '24 who popularized Chinese cooking in the US, and BingXin, noted poet, who received her M.A. from Wellesley College in 1926 [B.A. Yenching 1923] doing as her thesis "An English translation and edition of the poems of the lady Li I-An."

The second visit by a high ranking Chinese study group occurred in October 1978. The Chinese education delegation was touring the United States, hoping to strengthen exchanges and promote friendly ties. They looked at the general character of institution and the scientific programs offered students.

During the 1919-20 academic year Wellesley College's President Ellen Pendleton traveled through Japan, Korea and China with a group of women invited by the Federation of Woman's Board of Foreign Missions to report on institutions and women's work. As chairman of the Commission on Collegiate Education for Women, Pendleton reported on the Woman's Christian College of Japan (in Tokyo), Yenching College (in Peking), and Ginling College (in Nanking) at the conference in Shanghai at the end of their tour.

In the spring of 1919 – before President Pendleton's trip to Asia – Wellesley established a sister college relationship with North China Union College, later Yenching University, in Peking. In addition to the documentation of this relationship found in the Wellesley College publications, we have occasional correspondence in the President's Office files, some documentation of fund raising efforts to support Yenching in the records of the Service Organization, and in an alumnae group led at various times by Elisabeth Luce Moore '24 and Emma DeLong Mills '17. In addition we have a few English language publications of Yenching, and a wonderful photograph album of Yenching scenes

It is unclear how many Wellesley College faculty and alumnae taught at Yenching. This link ended in when the Communists government closed the Christian Colleges in China. Alumnae interest remained, however, and in 1961 Wellesley reestablished its link to China when it sent the first of a series of teaching representatives to Chung Chi College in Hong Kong.

Contact Information

The Wellesley College Archives are located on the fourth floor of the Clapp Library. They are open Monday – Friday, 8:30-12 and 1-5 when college is in session; Monday – Friday, 9-12 and 1-4:30 when classes are not in session. For more information, or to arrange a research visit, contact the Archives via email at; or by telephone at (781) 283-2128.


Wesleyan University Special Collections and Archives:

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The American Context of China's Christian Colleges project is based at Wesleyan University.
For more information, please contact the Project Director or Website Coordinator.

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