The First Chinese Student: Yen Hui Ching - Marriage and Fukien Christian University


Yen arrived at Fukien Christian University during a time of political and social unrest. In 1927 a wave of Nationalism swept through Fuzhou; caught in its grip, students overthrew the American leadership at the university, and replaced them with Chinese administrators. The new president of the university, Lin Ching-Jun (林景潤) provided a steadying hand, and under his guidance, the university retained its American faculty and rose to prominence for their work in agriculture and education.

Yen only remained as a lecturer at Fukien Christian University for a year, but it was during this time that she reunited with her future husband—university president Lin Ching-Jun. Lin had also attended Oberlin College, graduating with a Master of Arts degree in 1920. After serving for a year as a Physician at the Chinese General Red Cross Hospital in Shanghai, Yen returned to Fuzhou to marry Lin Ching-Jun on August 24th, 1929.

Following the birth of their two children (daughter Lin Jun-Ching, born August 25th, 1930, and son Lin Chi-Chuang, born September 7th, 1931), Yen and Lin spent a year on a lecture tour in the US (1934-1935), supported by the Hartford Foundation. That year, they travelled the US, participating in the China Colleges Conferences, a series of small conferences designed to bring North American institutions into direct contact with the educational leaders at the Christian colleges in China.

Shortly after their return to China, in 1937, the Japanese launched a full-scale campaign to invade all of China.