The Whitman in China (WIC) Program was established in 1982 by Professor David Deal (Chinese history) to provide an international educational exchange opportunity between Whitman College and universities in China at a time when both the U.S. and China were opening up relations and in need of opportunities to learn about each other. The exchange began in 1982 initially with relationships between Whitman College and Yunnan University in Kunming and Northwestern Polytechnical University (NPU) in Xi'an.  At various junctures in the program's history in the 1980s and 1990s, partner institutions included Sichuan International Studies University in Chengdu and Wuhan National Minority University in Hubei.  Since 2000 when a new partnership with Shantou University, Guangdong Province, was established, the College has partnered exclusively with NPU, Shantou and Yunnan University.