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Introduction to Ginling College

Leadership Today


Xue: Secretary of CPC Committee of Ginling College.

Yuan Zhao: Dean, Doctor, Professor of Human Geography, Ph.D Supervisor 
Suping Yang: Vice-Dean of College Committee 

Sixian Feng: Vice-Dean, Doctor.

Qingqi Wei: Vice-Dean, Doctor, Professor of Literature, Ph.D Supervisor

Jian Gao: Vice-Secretary of CPC Committee of Ginling College.

General Information

Ginling College was established in 1987 and its predecessor was Ginling Women's University, which was established in 1915 and enjoyed a good reputation both at home and abroad.

Ginling Women's University was the first women's university at undergraduate level in China. It was prepared and built by United Church of America in 1913 and was officially established and began to enroll students in 1915. The Xiuhua lane in the south of the Nanjing City was rented as the temporary college site. Later it was moved to Suiyuan Campus on Ninghai Road, Nanjing, in 1923. Mrs. Laurence Thurston, an American missionary, served as its first president.

In 1928, the Nationalist Government with Nanjing as its capital regained educational rights. Xu Yizhen served as the chairman of the college board and Wu Yifang served as its president. In 1930, Ginling Women's University changed its name to Ginling Women's College of Arts and Sciences. It was moved westward to Chengdu because of the Anti-Japanese War in 1937 and all the teachers and students returned to Nanjing in 1946. After the People's Republic of China was established, Ginling Women's College of Arts and Sciences merged with Ginling University into Public Jinling University in 1951. In 1952 when national colleges and universities adjusted their departments, Nanjing Normal University was established on the former site of Ginling Women's College of Arts and Sciences. In 1987, approved by People's Government of Jiangsu Province, GinlingCollege was reestablished in Nanjing Normal University.


I. The Predecessor of Ginling College -- Ginling Women's University

The history of GinlingCollege is the development history of its predecessor -- Ginling Women's University. From its preparation for establishment to intermission of running, Ginling Gollege has experienced five historical periods.

1. Preparation for Establishment Period (1913--1915)

At the end of the 19th century, China secluded itself from the outside world and women's education was still in deep sleep. Male students had exclusive access to national and private universities and middle schools. Therefore foreign churches like American and British churches established missionary middle schools for girls one after another in the Yangtze River Delta and the Pearl River Delta in China. However at that time, women’s education was faced with two problems: one was that graduates from middle schools for girls had no access to domestic universities while only a few could further their studies abroad; the other problem was that after the 1911 Revolution, women’s thoughts were liberated and an increasing number of them went to middle schools, which led to the lack of teachers in schools for girls. Since domestic universities couldn't cultivate women undergraduates, some foreign missionaries in missionary schools deeply felt the necessity to establish women's universities in China. After research and negotiation, they decided to establish the first women’s university -- Ginling Women's University in Nanjing in the Yangtze River Delta. The election was operated by five churches, namely AmericanBaptistChurch, the MethodistChurch, the Presbyterian Church, the Protestant Episcopal Church and so on. Each of them donated $10,000 to establish the college board. Mrs. Laurence Thurston, who was once a teacher in a missionary middle school in Changsha, Hunan, was chosen as the president. She took office immediately and rented the late Qing Dynasty Prime Minister Li Hongzhang's former residence in the Xiuhua lane in the south of the Nanjing city as the temporary college building. Over 100 wing-rooms of the former residence were used as students' dormitories, classrooms, halls and offices. Besides, there were tennis courts, vegetable fields, and a big garden. There were moon-like portals between rooms and they were connected by roundabout paths and corridors. The garden boasted beautiful scenery of small bridges, flowing streams, singing birds and fragrant flowers.

2. Sprouting Period (1915—1922)

On September 17th 1915, GinlingCollege was officially opened. The first year's 11 students came from 9 cities of 4 provinces nationwide. At that time, although the college was still at the initial stage with poor management measures and in shortage of teachers, it took college-running very seriously and accumulated many good practices. For example, courses were divided into compulsory and optional ones; students of science and those of liberal arts took different courses; tutorial system was adopted in student management and tutors directed students' studies and lives.

In order to make the first women's university in China a success, Mrs. Laurence Thurston went here and there for advice and assistance. The university was in utmost shortage of teachers but through efforts it managed to invite dozens of excellent teachers one after another from 1915 to 1922. Most foreign teachers among them had masters' or doctors' degrees, such as Dr. Li Fushi chair of Biology Department, Master Hua Qun in Education Department, Dr. Cai Lude in Chemistry Department and Dr. Shi Yifa chair of History Department. All of them had laid a crucial foundation for the cultivation of talented people.

From 1919 to 1922, 4 years of graduates totaled 33 and 20 of them went to study in America and obtained master's or doctor's degrees. For instance, Yan Caiyun, a graduate from Ginling College, continued her studies in State University of New York in America and was a straight-A student. Since then the university began to think highly of Ginling College graduates and allowed them to be excused from the entrance examination if they wanted to pursue master's or doctor’s degrees in the university. This honor gave GinlingCollege great popularity overseas.

3. Development Period (1923--1937)

With the increase in the number of students and the need for teaching modernization, GinlingCollege had to build permanent college buildings. The college board and college council decided to raise funds and chose Suiyuan in Nanjing as the permanent college location. After years of construction, 9 H-style Chinese palatial architectures were built, three of which were used as teaching buildings, four of which dormitory buildings, a music building and a library. They were connected by long corridors. In July 1923, GinlingCollege was moved from the Xiuhua lane to Suiyuan.

After the Northern Expedition in 1928, the whole nation started struggles to regain educational rights. The Ministry of Education of Nanjing National Government wanted to regain autonomy of school-running from churches and stipulated that the president and the chairman of the college board should be Chinese. Therefore Ginling Gollege reorganized its college board and Mrs. Laurence Thurston resigned from her presidential post and took her new post as a teacher and consultant. In August, Dr. Wu Yifang, who had been among the first year's graduates from Ginling College and had studied in America, returned to China and accepted the invitation of the college board to take the post as the president.

On the one hand, Dr. Wu Yifang inherited the fine traditions from the initial stage; on the other hand, she firmly abandoned many disadvantages of churchly way of college-running and carried out bold reforms in teaching planning, faculty distribution and educational policies.

First of all, majors were carefully chosen and new teaching plans were made. Some unnecessary and unqualified majors were removed from the 16 trial majors and only Chinese, English, History, Geography, Chemistry, Biology, Sociology, Music and PE remained. Each major added some compulsory or optional courses like education, education psychology and hygiene.

Second, the teaching team was optimized to increase the overall teaching strength. Some domestic famous scholars, professors and talented people at high level were invited to work in Ginling College to enhance the academic level and scientific research ability of the teaching staff. Chen Zhongfan, director of the Department of Chinese and Long Guanhai, director of the Department of Sociology were domestic well-known professors; Liu Enlan, director of the Department of Geography and Wu Maoyi, director of the Department of Chemistry obtained their doctor's degrees in Britain or America; Zhang Huilan, director of the Department of PE was the first PE doctor in China.

Third, the teaching policy was further defined to cultivate women college students featuring an all-round development in morality, intelligence, physique, aesthetics and social skills. Subjects like English, PE and Music were valued and original English textbooks were adopted. The students were required to have good English listening, speaking, reading and writing abilities. In terms of practice ability, students of science should master basic skills of experiments and those of liberal arts should enter society to undertake investigations and write reports.

Fourth, the comprehensive quality education was advocated and carried out:

(1) Chinese and western cultures were integrated. The “Abundant Life” was interpreted as the guiding ideology for cultivating Ginling College students. It required students not only to master their basic and professional knowledge well, but also to have noble dreams. They should be diligent, tough and selfless at their posts and dedicate their lifetime to others, society and nation with their own wisdom and strength.

(2) Student autonomy and tutorial system were combined to manage students. There was a head teacher for every grade and a tutor for every 8 students. The tutor instructed students’ life and study with skill and patience. There was an instructor in students’ life for each dormitory building.

(3) The sister-class system was put into practice. Senior “sisters” gave instructions on daily studies and life of junior “sisters” and led them to adapt to the change from a middle school to a college. Therefore, the younger sisters benefited a lot and the elder sisters strengthened their sense of responsibility and pride and thus became stricter with themselves, through which they promoted each other.

(4) Students' physical exercise was valued. Every fresher got a health card since she entered college so that teachers could teach students in accordance with their aptitude. The 4-year compulsory PE lessons aimed at improving students’ physique. Students’ musicianship was also valued. The one-year music lessons taught basic knowledge and skills of music like producing sound and reading music. Besides, students could take courses in the Department of Music and participate in the activities held by the chorus or choir to improve their musicianship.

4. Anti-Japanese War and Westward Movement Period (1938--1946)

In 1938, Japanese army invaded Nanjing. The teachers and students of Ginling College moved westward to Chengdu by three routes and gathered at West China Dam in Chengdu with Qilu University from Shandong, Yenching University from Beijing, Ginling University from Nanjing and West China Medical University. With many colleges gathering here and talented people coming forward in multitudes, Ginling College developed unexpectedly. Inter-collegiate academic and cultural exchanges were very lively. All kinds of posters on the dam emerged endlessly and social activities and anti-Japanese and national salvation activities took place frequently. On the one hand, President Wu Yifang was engaged in heavy social activities; on the other hand, she was busy raising funds for the development of the 5 universities. In 1945, she attended the United Nations Constitution Drafting Meeting in San Francisco as a Chinese representative without party affiliation. Her prestige and Ginling College's reputation spread farther.

During the 8 years from 1938 to 1945, Ginling College continued to carry forward its fine traditions of college-running. It conducted freshwoman education according to current policies and attached great importance to social services. In 1939, it established a rural service station in Renshou County, Sichuan and organized children's summer school, adults' evening school, women’s evening school and healthy and recreational education. It also organized farmers into a women and infants group, a preschool education group, a hand-stitching group which produced hand-made texture for export and a chicken variety improvement group. All these practices won unanimous praise from local farmers.

Meanwhile, Ginling College initiated some minor adjustments of the departments. In 1939, it added the Department of Home Economics; Mathematics Department and Physics Department stopped recruiting students. It also adjusted the college administrative institutions and set up the college council, library council and career service council according to the regulations of the Ministry of Education. Each department established their own associations like associations of Sociology, Chinese, History, Geography, Chemistry, Biography and PE. Academic activities were also very frequent.

Anti-Japanese and national salvation activities were extremely active. Before the war, some students of Ginling College had already participated in demonstrations of the May 4th Movement, the May 30th Shanghai Massacre, the September 18th Incident and the January 28th Incident. They saved board expenses to support righteous struggles of Shanghai workers and boycott Japanese goods. They offered to do some nursing work within their power in hospitals. In 1939 when the enemy troops bombarded the home front, wartime service regiments of the 5 universities organized rescue teams to save wounded compatriots; teachers and students donated money to make winter clothing for the soldiers. The teachers like Hua Qun and Minnie Vautrin who stayed behind in the college in Nanjing turned it into a shelter for international refugees, which protected thousands of women and children.

5. Post-war Reconstruction Period (1946--1952)

After the victory of the Anti-Japanese War, Ginling College students moved back to Nanjing one after another in 1946. In 1947, the college developed quite prosperously and students at college amounted to 440, which was the largest number over the years. It boasted a sound management system and abundant qualified teachers. Also, it carried out active foreign exchanges and established friendship with many well-known overseas universities. They sent teachers to visit each other and give lectures every year. The college attached equal importance to teaching and scientific research. Students participated in all kinds of competitions on and off campus actively and won great honor for Ginling College and Nanjing. For example, they won 9 first places in the city games; 12 students were selected into Nanjing sports delegation and took part in the 7th national games.

In April 1949, Nanjing was liberated. Ginling College made some adjustments in departments and courses and added courses on dialectical materialism and historical materialism.

In 1951, Ginling College and Ginling University were merged into Public Jinling University. In 1952 when national universities and colleges adjusted their departments, Nanjing Normal University was established on the former site of Ginling College. Among the 150 faculty members, those who worked in former Ginling College accounted for one third. Doctor Wu Yifang held the post of vice-president of Jinling University since 1951. After the department adjustment, she took the post of provost of Nanjing Normal University. She was transferred to be deputy secretary of Education Department of Jiangsu Province and later served as vice-governor of Jiangsu Province.

The present Ginling College, re-established in 1987, has a history of only 38 years, but it cultivated many influential and productive talented people with the spirit of "Abundant Life". Among them there were politicians, litterateurs, scientists, musicians, actresses, engineers, doctors, professors, presidents, special-grade teachers, child-welfare and social workers and so on. They all made great contributions to Chinese nation at their different posts.

II. Today's Ginling College

Ginling College's (hereinafter referred to as GC) philosophy of "Abundant Life" has developed into a unique education thought and a campus culture, which have been deep-rooted and everlasting in Suiyuan Campus. In order to glorify this education concept and university culture, In echo to Ginling alumnae’s and Ginling President Wu Yifang's advocacy, Jiangsu Province decided to reestablish Ginling College on Suiyuan Campus of Nanjing Normal University (hereinafter referred to as NNU) on March 21, 1987 after NNU applied on March 19, 1987.

1. Overview of Ginling College

(1) Administration
GC is a college of NNU, the only women's college run by Jiangsu Province, with the highest level of teaching and research amongst women's colleges throughout China. It shoulders multiple tasks such as nurturing female elite, women's studies and international engagement.

(2) Majors
GC has 6 undergraduate majors, 5 master's programs and 4 orientations for master's degree candidates.
Undergraduate Majors: English, Accounting, Financial Management, Labor and Social Security, Food Science and Engineering, Food Quality and Safety. These 6 majors admit "1st-Level (Top-level) Undergraduates" nationwide.
Master's Programs: Food Science, Engineering in Agroproduct Processing and Preserving, Science of Women's Education, Foodstuff Engineering, Accounting.
Master's Orientations: Gender Sociology, Social Security, Financial Engineering, Financing in Education.

(3) Research Institutions
GC owns 1 research and development subcenter of the national level (National Dairy Processing Tech Center), 2 provincial or ministerial research bases (National Women/Gender Research-Training Base, Jiangsu Province Gerontology Research Base), 7 research centers (Dr. Wu Yifang Research Center, Ginling Women's Development Research Center, Home-Economics Education and Neighborhood-Development Research Center, Ginling Bakery Tech-Training Center, Gerontology Research Center, Accounting-Finance Research Center, Ginling Children-Education Research Center), 3 institutes (Dairy Bio-Tech Institute, Nutrition and Resources Institute, Government Budgeting Performance Institute).

(4) Laboratories
GC has 2 comprehensive labs, i.e. Food Science-Engineering Lab (including sub-labs in Food Nutrition and Physiology, Food Chemistry and Analysis, Food Techniques, Functional Foodstuff, Diary Science, Food Bio-Tech, Fruit Preservation and Storage); Accounting-Financing Managerial Lab (including sub-labs in Emulated Working Conditions in Modernized Enterprises, ERP Emulated Lab for Financing and Management, Accounting Simulation).

(5) Faculty
GC has 72 faculty and staff members on the payroll, 58% of the full-time teachers possessing tenures, 55% holding doctor's degrees, 50% with recent overseas study experience.
The past 5 years have seen 300 paper publications, over 40 academic books, edited books or textbooks, over 100 projects such as National Social Science, National Natural Science, National 863 Major, Sci-Tech Ministerial Major, Education Ministerial Major, Provincial Sci-Tech Department Major, etc. by GC faculty. GC teaching and research outcomes have won Third Prize for National Sci-Tech, Second Prize for Provincial Social Science, Second Prize for Provincial Sci-Tech, First Prize for Provincial Excellent Outcomes, Provincial Excellent Curriculum, Excellent Teaching Outcomes of the Province, Special Prizes and First Prizes of University Excellent Teaching, etc.

(6) International Cooperation
GC has wide and extensive exchange with universities in the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, Japan, Republic of Korea and India, and has one-year (or half-year) exchange programs for undergraduates with many such universities. GC has also close contact with famous women’s universities throughout the world.

(7) GC's Foothold for Development
With its foothold in China and prospect towards the world, GC has an aim of developing itself into a nationally first class and internationally famous women's college adapted to contemporary social conditions, holding an entrepreneurial spirit and unique features, hence a widely recognized cradle for female elite and a spiritual home for outstanding women.

(8) Objects of Education
Female elite with scientific spirit and life interest, personal independence and outer elegance, adapted to and needed by social development and cultivated with humanities, solid in their major knowledge and wide academic scope, skillful in practice and creative in thought, holding dear the concept of “Abundant Life” and social responsibility.

(9) Features of Education
Chiefly three aspects:
1. GC comprehensively nurtures students with humanities and natural sciences intermingled. Taking advantage of multiple disciplinary existence, namely humanities, natural sciences, technology, GC organizes its teaching in a cross-disciplinary method so that its humanities students have some ability of natural sciences and vice versa. The English Department teaching and office hours are open all GC students, therefore elevating them to special high place in English apart from their own fields.
2. GC has a series of courses designed with feminine features, hence bringing more elegance to those course-enrolled students. GC had large number of such courses to amplify the decency of females, such physique, etiquette, make-up, musical instruments, international chess, weiqi, calligraphy, painting, vocal music, dancing, public speaking, martial arts, art in home designing, etc. GC has compulsory requirements for the system of “Female Culture Certificates”, a widely recognized document.
3. GC adheres to its motto of “Abundant Life” to produce students with amity. Abundant Life comes from John 10:10, meaning that a person lives not merely for himself/herself, but in the process of employing his/her physical ability and wisdom to aid others and to benefit society, he/she achieves a more abundant life. This concept has ever been the college motto and orientating thought for GC leadership: it requires that students should not only possess academic knowledge but also lofty thought, that they should devote their wisdom and energy to the service of society perseveringly selflessly. The spirit of Abundant Life, carried on and enhanced by generations of GC people, has become a GC culture and will influence future generations of GC daughters and sons. Abundant Life has become the name card of GC.

College Motto

"Abundant Life", or "Hou Sheng" as part of the NNU's motto, has been quoted as the college motto by GinlingCollege students, generations after generations. It means that one should not live only for himself/herself; instead s/he should help others and contribute to society with his/her own abilities and wisdom, which not only benefits others, but also enriches his/her own life.

Leadership in History

As a unique college, at the very beginning, the president of Nanjing Normal University was to serve concurrently as the president of Ginling College. But since 1993, Ginling College appointed its own president, and from then on started its relatively independent development.
All the presidents, secretary of the party committee, and members of leading group are listed as follows:
Gui Hong: President (1987-1989, the president of Nanjing Normal University, concurrent)
Tan Fengliang: President (1989-1991, the president of Nanjing Normal University, concurrent)
Tu Guohua: President (1991-1993, the vice-president of Nanjing Normal University, concurrent)
Huang Tao: President (1993-1998, He was promoted to the vice-president of Nanjing Normal University in 1998.)
Yu Zhongxi: President (1998-2005)
Qin Huanqi: President (2005-2012)
Yuan Jinmei: Secretary of the Party Committee (1999-2005)
Chen Jun: Secretary of the Party Committee (2005-2013)
Huang Juxiang: Deputy Secretary of the Party Committee (2000-2007)
Mei Ruolan: Vice President (1989--1999)
Yu Wenjuan: Vice President (1995-1999 Secretary of the Party Committee, concurrent in 1999)
Liu Huijun: Vice President (1996-2005)
Pan Daodong: Vice President (2005-2009)
 First-Term Leadership since Reestablishment of GC: Deputy-Dean in Charge Yu Zhongxin, Dean Huang Tao, Deputy Dean Mei Ruolan, Deputy Dean Liu Huijun, CPC Secretary and Deputy Dean Yu Wenjuan
Second-Term Leadership: CPC Deputy Secretary Huang Juxiang, Deputy Dean Liu Huijun, Dean Yu Zhongxi, CPC Secretary Yuan Jinmei, Deputy Dean Jiang Xihe
Third-Term Leadership: CPC Deputy Secretary Huang Juxiang, Deputy Dean Jiang Xihe, Dean Qian Huanqi, CPC Secretary Chen Jun, Deputy Dean Pan Daodong
Fourth-Term Leadership: Deputy Dean Xiong Xiaoyan, Deputy Dean Jiang Xihe, Dean Qian Huanqi, CPC Secretary Chen Jun, CPC Deputy Secretary Yang Suping, Deputy Dean Zheng Tiesong
Fifth-Term Leadership: Deputy Dean Wei Qingqi, CPC Deputy Secretary Yang Suping, CPC Secretary Jiang Xihe, Dean Zhao Yuan, Deputy Dean Zheng Tiesong, Deputy Dean Xiong Xiaoyan