Chinese Ambassador Qin Gang visits Wesleyan College along with college President Vivia Folwer (left) on Friday in Macon, GA. （MAY ZHOU/CHINA DAILY）
Chinese Ambassador to the U.S. Qin Gang, during his visit to the Soong Sisters Gallery at Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia on Friday, said the history of the three Soong sisters at Wesleyan is "a good example of people-to-people exchanges" and he wants "this friendship and tradition to be amplified."
The three Soong Sisters - Ai-ling, Ching ling and Mei-ling - were the first Chinese women to further their education in the U.S. with all three of them studying at Wesleyan College in the early 1900s. They went on to be influential women in China with Soong Ching ling becoming revered as the mother of modern China.
Wesleyan President Viva Fowler gave Qin a tour of the gallery which has extensive artifacts, photos and memorabilia from the lives of the Soong Sisters and their family.
"The sisters, especially Ching ling, had a lifelong friendship with their classmates, alumni and Weslyan administrators. We have a substantial collection of Song related artifacts that attracted thousands of visitors each year before the pandemic," Fowler said.
Qin said he's impressed by the collections. "It feels like a portion of history has come alive and is unfolding before my eyes. Through the photos, notes and correspondence, I can understand how the time the Soong Sisters spent here changed their lives, and how it left a rich legacy at the College and even influenced the China-U.S. relationship," he said.
Qin said Wesleyan College occupies a very special and unique place in the China-U.S. relationship and their people-to-people friendships. "The three Soong sisters were educated here more than 100 years ago, and two of the three sisters became the first ladies of modern China, that's partially due to the education Wesleyan gave to them," Qin said.