July 1, 2010
Morningside College will begin the second year of a two-way exchange program with Hwa Nan Women’s University in Fuzhou, China, this month when five recent graduates of Hwa Nan Women’s University come to Sioux City to study at Morningside, and a Morningside professor and student go to Fuzhou to teach English and American culture to Hwa Nan students.
On Friday, July 2, five recent graduates of Hwa Nan Women’s University will arrive in Sioux City to begin 13-14 months of study at Morningside that will lead to a bachelor’s degree in international studies. Those students are Li Chen, Yan He, Wei Lin, Lihua Yan and Liuyin Ye.
Also on July 2, a Morningside College professor and student will arrive in Fuzhou to begin a month-long stint teaching English and American culture at Hwa Nan Women’s University: Greg Guelcher, associate professor of history and political science, and Drake Johnson, a political science major from Coppell, Texas.
The two-way exchange is the result of an agreement signed by Morningside College and Hwa Nan Women’s University in October 2008 in Fuzhou during Hwa Nan’s centennial celebration. The agreement specifies that each year Morningside will give a small number of Hwa Nan graduates preferential scholarships to enroll as full-time students on the Sioux City college’s campus. Every summer, Morningside also will send a faculty member, and possibly some students, to Hwa Nan to teach for a month.
The exchange agreement was signed 100 years after a Morningside College graduate helped found Hwa Nan Women’s University. Lydia Trimble, a 1904 Morningside graduate, was involved with the founding of Hwa Nan in 1908 by the Women’s Foreign Ministry Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church and served as the school’s first president. Hwa Nan’s second and third presidents also were Morningside College graduates. In 1908, the Methodist Episcopal Church elected W.S. Lewis, Morningside’s president from 1897 to 1908, as bishop of China, and he served for eight years in Fuzhou, the city where Hwa Nan Women’s University is located.
Morningside College's efforts to re-establish connections with Hwa Nan started in the spring of 2008 when Morningside President John Reynders accompanied the college's choir on a tour of China. Reynders and other Morningside representatives made a side trip to Fuzhou to meet with Hwa Nan President Zhang Xunjie. Hwa Nan responded by sending a representative to Morningside College in the summer of 2008 to work out details of an exchange partnership. Both schools signed the final agreement in October 2008, and the two-way exchange began in the summer of 2009.
Hwa Nan Women’s University is a private three-year college located along China’s east coast about halfway between Hong Kong and Shanghai. The only private all-women’s college in China, Hwa Nan enrolls about 2,000 students and offers the equivalent of a U.S. associate’s degree in areas of study such as applied English, business English, international tourism, food and nutrition and early childhood education.