Opened in 2005, the Wesleyan College China Room houses a special collection of gifts and memorabilia donated to the school on behalf of three of the college's most illustrious international students - the Soong Sisters. In the early 1900's the three daughters of well-known Chinese missionary and industrialist, Charles Soong, attended the school. Their futures, as well as Wesleyan College's, were never the same after their time here.
The three Soong Sisters were the first Chinese women to be educated in the U.S. The oldest sister, Ailing, attended Wesleyan from 1904-1909. When she returned to China, she married H.H. Kung - a prominent figure in the Chinese financial world and the Nationalist party - and became Madame Kung, matron of the legendary Kung family. Items on display from Ailing are photos, correspondence from fellow alumnae, and other memorabilia.
The second sister, Ching Ling, attended Wesleyan College from 1908-1913. Upon her return to China, she married Sun-Yat Sen, founder of the Chinese Nationalist movement and the "George Washington of China." Ching Ling, to this day, is revered as the Mother of China. The Soong Ching-Ling Foundation has graced Wesleyan College with many gifts including traditional Chinese paintings, vases, plates and embroideries. Also in the China Room collection are photos and correspondence from Ching-Ling to other Wesleyannes.
The youngest sister, May-ling, came to Wesleyan College at the tender age of ten and remained at the school from 1908-1913. She was the only sister not to graduate from the school. Yet, she generously remembered the college and fellow students throughout her lifetime. May-ling Soong married General Chiang Kai-Shek in 1927 and for the next eight decades represented Free China as the country's First Lady. Wesleyan is proud to have a varied collection of gifts, photos and correspondence from Madame Chiang to the school and to fellow students and faculty, including memorabilia from her two visits to Macon in 1943 and 1965.
Wesleyan College has a special relationship with the people of China and has been the gracious recipient of gifts from foundations and visiting dignitaries. Many of the items are on display in the China Room as well as other prominent locations around campus.
Tours of the China Room are available by appointment only. Please contact Sybil McNeil at (478) 757-5201. For more about the Soong Sisters, click here!