Elderly alumni honor legacy of war-time university alliance
BEIJING, Nov. 1 (Xinhua) -- Dozens of nonagenarians who studied at the wartime alliance of China's most prestigious universities gathered at Peking University Wednesday to honor its legacy.
The National Southwest Associated University (NSAU), known as "Lianda," was a coalition between Peking and Tsinghua universities in Beijing, and Tianjin's Nankai University during the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression. It was formed after the decision to move the three universities south in 1937. Wednesday marked the 80th anniversary of its founding.
The university was opened in Changsha on Nov. 1, 1937. It was moved further south to Kunming in 1938, when Japanese invaders bombed Changsha.` Lianda only existed for nine years, during which time it nurtured some of the country's most prominent scholars and scientists, producing two Nobel Prize laureates and eight scientists who worked on the atomic bomb.
Chen Ning Yang, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics together with Tsung-Dao Lee in 1957, said his seven years at the university laid a solid foundation for his later research.
"I was very lucky to have received such a good education in that difficult time," he said at the ceremony, which gathered more than 90 alumni.
Though it only existed for a few years, its students have made immeasurable contributions, even after the founding of the People's Republic of China, he said.
"The purpose of honoring the university is to carry on its educational spirit and notions to make new achievements in the future," said Pan Jiluan, an academician with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, who studied mechanical engineering at Lianda.
An exhibition on the history of the university is currently being held at Tsinghua University.