1890  — 1925

Lydia Brown Hipps

American missionary who served at Ginling (Jinling) College as the head of the Music Department (1917-21); Acting Dean of Women and head of the Music Department of Shanghai College (1921-25).

Lydia Brown Hipps was born August 10th, 1890, at Ames, Iowa. She was always interested in music; a brief diary of her musical career begins with the date June 21st, 1899. She specialized in organ at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and in June, 1917, was graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Music. In the fall of that same year she sailed for China to become head of the Music Department of Ginling College, Nanking (Nanjing). It came to her as a most happy discovery that she could combine her desire to serve on a foreign mission field with this special gift for and interest in music. Her splendid work in Ginling became well known to many in China and America. During the absence of the president of Ginling, she was made acting president, a tribute to her ability and the great confidence placed in her.

In June, 1921, she was married to Professor J. B. Hipps of the Theological Department of Shanghai College. In her first year at the College she was acting dean of women and head of the Music Department, which latter position she continued to hold.

All who knew Mrs. Hipps were impressed with her calmness and poise, her courage, cheerfulness and optimism. She was one who had the rare gift of placing right values. She knew how to put “first things first,” and because she knew this she was able to live a full, happy, abundant life. In a remarkable way she combined her capacity for leadership with her love of home and home making.


* This story is adapted from the Chinese Recorder.


  • Chinese Recorder 1925, May, Vol. 56, pp. 321-322.

About the Author

Peng Cui'an

Assistant Manager, Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Christianity.