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The written history of China spans 5,000 years and dwarfs that of Europe and certainly America. A relatively short time ago, in the 1920s, with the rise to power of Sun Yat-sen and his son-in-law, Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, China was unified. This unification helped to bring China into the modern world. In keeping with this trend toward modernization, Chiang Kai-shek's able-minded wife, Madame Chiang Kai-shek, was one of the first of a generation of Chinese women educated by Americans. She graduated from Wellesley College in 1917. She saw the importance of the west and sought to bring its influence into her husband's government as he rose to power. During this time, American missionaries living in China educated thousands of Chinese women. The missionaries were well received by Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalists. In fact, the good Madame was a Christian and her husband was baptized in 1929.

Growth, education, and prosperity seemed to finally be in China's destiny. The missionaries and their schools were well respected and it became a privilege to have one's children educated there. Like all of the important cities, Nanking boasted its own valued school, the Ginling Girls' College. During the 1930s, an American missionary named Minnie Vautrin ran the college. It was there that she devoted her life to her students and to China. She was a woman of unusual strength, heart and soul. Our story begins and ends with this most unusual hero.

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