Lingnan University was famous for its agricultural studies and was instrumental in reviving silk worm culture in China. The programme began its development in 1907 when the horticulturist George Weidman Groff joined the faculty. He was supported by faculty and students from Pennsylvania State College, who built Penn State Lodge for his residence. In 1918, French and American silk dealers approached Lingnan for help in improving South China silk production. The Silk Culture Building was provided by the Silk Association of America. A dormitory and the Atwood Reeling Laboratory followed. A College of Agriculture was founded in 1921. This building later became the Union Theological School.