In February 8, 1906 Wells College played host to a distinguished Chinese delegation sent to inspect various American educational institutions. The students of Wells College were reported to be surprised at the curiosity of the members of the Chinese Delegation according to the Wells College Cardinal from 1907. President Ward welcomed the visitors, who were able see the two newest buildings on the campus – the gym, Helen Fairchild Smith Hall and Zabriskie, the new science building. In addition, the Chinese Delegation was able to view the student rooms in the two upper stories of the President’s House (today’s Pettibone House).

It is noted in the 1906-1907 Cardinal, that the curiosity in the Chinese delegates was very strong regarding the things around them. Their curiosity was so great that the President had to tear away a group of delegates from something the students were showing off to bring them into the chapel service.  After the program in the chapel, one Chinese delegate said he would recommend ‘Wells as a model for women’s colleges in China’. The chapel event was comprised of President Ward giving a compelling speech and the whole student body performing a few songs.

A reception followed the singing in the chapel. There was cake and sandwiches. The visitors toured the Wells School in the village and had their picture taken on the steps of Wallcourt(Formerly Henry Morgan’s house). Following this the delegates boarded the train to continue their tour of colleges in America.  In 1907 the Imperial Chinese Commission sent three visiting students to Wells.

From Jane Marsh Dieckmann’s “Wells College: A History” page 93. Additional information can be found in The Class of 1906-1907 Cardinal, on pages 145-147

More information is available in the Wells College Archives.

Summary compiled by Nicole Di Mauro’12