Chengtu, Szechuan, China
Chengdu, Sichuan, China
Ginling administrators moved their operations to Chengtu, a city in western China, in the fall of 1938. The move was largely out of necessity — after Japan’s occupation of Nanking in 1937, the city was no longer a viable place to hold classes — but also, as Ginling administrators attest, out of choice. In a letter detailing Ginling’s Plans for 1938-1939, the author, an unknown physical education professor, reveals that “after many discussions, it was decided that [Ginling] is going to move to Szechuan, since Shanghai is not the place to train for the kind of students we wish to have.” The kind of students Ginling wished to have — socially useful women who were skilled in practical service and able to learn by doing — would not thrive in cosmopolitan Shanghai. Even in wartime, as refugees flooded Ginling’s main campus, administrators were convinced that it was China’s rural masses that needed students’ services the most. So in the fall of 1938, Ginling accepted an invitation from Western Union Christian University to join them on their Szechuan campus, which would serve as Ginling’s home base until its return to Nanking in 1946.