Transitional Years

In 1927, Wu Yi-Fang accepts her new position as President of Ginling College, succeeding Matilda Calder Thurston, her former teacher. This change in power comes mere months after the Nanking Incident of March 1927, in which the National Revolutionary Army seized the city of Nanking in an effort to exert the power of the Kuomintang over China at large. Nationalist sentiment was rising, and Ginling could no longer justify the position of president as being held by a white American Christian woman. Chinese-born Wu had been a star student at the College when she was enrolled, and was an impressive candidate for the job. She would help to quell the anti-foreign sentiment that was brewing as a result of Thurston’s leadership, while also having an established connection both to Ginling and to Thurston herself.