Born on September 14, 1827, in what is currently the state of West Virginia, Elizabeth Anne Priscilla Edgar Randolph was an educator in the United States before being commissioned as a missionary to China. Upon her return from China to the United States, Mrs. Randolph stopped in Japan for a short visit of rest and recuperation from the harsh conditions of China. However, her short stay in Japan turned into four years, in which she founded the Women's Kibokwan which is the present-day Kinjo Gakuin. Her principle of education is still alive today in the spiritual legacy of the school's foundation.
Randolph was a school teacher for about 30 years in the states of Alabama, Georgia, and Kentucky. In 1871 she revealed her desire to become a missionary to Rev. Stuart Robinson of the Second Presbyterian Church in Louisville, Kentucky. She met with the Executive Committee concerning her application for missionary service and was appointed as a missionary to China. Randolph was sent to Hangzhou, China in 1872 to take up the position of principal at a women's boarding school.
In 1888 she was compelled to return to the United States for health reasons. On her way home, she decided to visit Mrs. Rambus, her best friend and a former missionary to China, in Kobe. When Randolph discovered that the Japanese climate was good for her health, she moved to Nagoya, having been invited by Robert E. McAlpine, an American Southern Presbyterian Church-related missionary.She became an English teacher at Kibokwan, a boys' English-language school which was directed by Ban'no Kaichi , pastor of the Japan Christ Nagoya United Church (currently the Kyodan's Nagoya Church). While teaching at that school, Randolph saw the low position held by Japanese women with her own eyes.
Realizing the need for women's education, Randolph decided to open an English class for women in January 1889. With the closing the boy's Kibokwan in August, she accomplished her goal in September 1889 with the opening of the Women's Special Kibokwan with an inaugural class of three female students. She had two classrooms built at her own expense and made it a rule to be self-supporting and independent. Her golden rule was this: "Fear God and devote your life to serve Him by training women to make loving people their life's work." This was her education principle and is precisely the spiritual legacy of Kinjo Gakuin.
In the year following the school's opening (1890), the Women's Special Kibokan was combined with the Kofu Women's School (the Cumberland Presbyterian Church), and the name was changed to Kinjo Private Women's School. The number of students increased, and a new school building was built making it a favorable start. Unfortunately, some parts of the school building were damaged by the Nobi Earthquake that occurred in October 1890. Randolph's health began to fail again due, in part, to the aftershocks, so she had to return to America in 1892.
Randolph was very strict regarding education. She reportedly made the students memorize new English vocabulary every day, and those who failed a recitation were put in the back row. But the students did not complain and made great efforts so as to be able to sit in the front row. It was Randolph's personality that whetted their appetite for study. Although she could speak Chinese, she had trouble remembering students' names as she was poor at Japanese. However, it is said that she always called her students "daughters," and the students had warm feelings and affection for her and would rush towards her to get ahead of others in wanting to be helpful to her.
Although she stayed in Nagoya for only four years, the seeds of women's education that she planted during that time and her achievement in building the foundation of Kinjo Gakuin are her great legacy. Kinjo Gakuin University's Randolph Memorial Auditorium was constructed as one of the memorial projects for the 100th anniversary of the school's founding, so that the name of Randolph would be passed down through the generations as one of the educators of women in Nagoya. (Tr. SM)
―From Kinjo Gakuin Daigaku Monogatari
(Story of Kinjo Gakuin University)
1888年、ランドルフは健康を害して強制帰国を命じられ、帰路につきます。その途中のこと、元中国宣教師の親友ミセス・ランパスに会うため神戸 に立ち寄り、しばらく滞在。日本の気候が自分の身体に良いことを知ったランドルフは、米国南長老教会宣救師マカルピンの誘いを受けて名古屋に移住 し、日本基督名古屋一致教会(現日本基督教団名古屋教会）牧師、阪野嘉一が館長だった男子英語塾「翼望館」の英語敬師を務めることとなりました。 そこで、女子教育に生涯を捧げてきたランドルフは、ロ本の女性の地位の低さを目の当たりにします。女子教育の必要性を悟り、1889年1月に女性 の英語クラスを開くと8月には男子の「爽望館」を閉鎖し9月に女性のための「女学専門糞望館」に改組、3人の女生徒を迎え、「女学専門翼望館」を 開校しました。そのとき彼女は自費で2間の教室を建て、自給独立を原則とし蛍した。ランドルフの想いはただひとつ、「神を畏れ、神への奉仕にその 生涯を捧げる、つまり人を愛することをライフワークとする女性の育成」。これが彼女の教育方針であり、それこそ金城学院の建学の精神でした。
開校の翌年(1890年)に「女学専門翼望館」はカンバーランド長老系の「紅楓女学校」と合併し、同年４月に校名を「私立金城女学校」と改称。 生徒数は次第に増え、1891年に校舎が新築されるなど順調なスタートを切りました。しかし残念なことに、|同年10月の濃尾大地震によって校舎 の一部が損壊。ランドルフもその余震の影響で健康を害し、1892年、帰国を余儀なくされます。
彼女は教育に対して大変厳しい方でした。生徒たちには毎日新しい英単語を覚えさせ、翌日暗唱できない生徒を後ろの席に変え、生徒たちは反発する ことなく、最前列に座れるように一生懸命勉強したと伝えられています。生徒たちの勉強意欲を高めたのは、ランドルフの人柄にありました。中国語は 話せても日本語が苦手で生徒の名前がなかなか憶えられなかったランドルフは、いつも生徒たちを「娘」と呼び、生徒たちは温かみと親しみを感じ、先 生のお役に立ちたいと、先を争って彼女のもとに走っていったといわれています。
ランドルフの名古屋滞在は、わずか4年間でした。しかし、この間に女子教育の種を蒔き、金城学院大学の基礎を築いた功績は偉大です。金城学院は 創立100周年記念事業のひとつとして「金城学院大学ランドルフ記念講堂」を建設し、名古屋の女子教育者の－人としてランドルフの名を後世に伝え 続けていきます。（『金城学院物語』17-18頁）