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This presentation provides an examination of Christian women’s achievements in the early 20th-century history of Chinese education. It aims to explore how women from Iowa, a Midwestern state in America, and Fujian, a coastal province in China, were dedicated to the development of Hwa Nan College. As one of the most famous women’s colleges in early-20th-century China, Hwa Nan College is not an unfamiliar subject to historians of Chinese education.

However, most academic literature regarding this college is prone to view its development as an outcome of the modernization of Chinese education by American missionaries, and scholars situate it within the framework of trans-national history. However, the history of Hwa Nan College primarily involves two provinces/states rather than two nations: its founders and first two superintendents were all Methodist missionaries from Iowa; its students mainly came from Christian families in Fujian; when studying abroad, its graduates predominantly were enrolled in colleges in Iowa. Beyond the limitation of the trans-national narrative of Hwa Nan College, this presentation intends to cast light on the significance of local-to-local relations for understanding women’s higher education in China.