Jinan's School of Foreign Studies Celebrates 90th Anniversary

BY :Lester Tan, Louis Berney

UPDATED :November 14, 2017


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The School of Foreign Studies (SFS) at Jinan University celebrated its 90th anniversary on November 11 at the international conference hall in Zeng Xianzi Science Museum. Hundreds of people - scholars from other universities and institutions, faculty members, retired teachers, alumni and current students — attended the event.
Jinan University is one of the earliest established universities in China, with a mission to bring in and educate overseas students. A myriad of outstanding overseas students have graduated from the university and become active in many fields. As an integral part of Jinan University, SFS, formerly known as the Department of Foreign Languages and Literature, enjoys a long history. It began in 1927 when the domestic revolution burst out and half of China was at war. Back then, numerous eminent scholars such as Liang Shiqiu (the translator of The Complete Works of Shakespeare), Qian Zhongshu (the author of The Besieged City) and Xu Guozhang (editor of the linguistic part of the Encyclopedia of China) lectured in the department. The school was among the first at Jinan to establish masters programs. Celebrated scholars like Professors Zeng Zhaoke, Weng Xianliang and Zhang Luanling were among its deans. The school now boasts four majors: English literature, business English (ranking No. 9 in mainland China), Japanese and French. Particular importance has been attached to the pedagogical quality and the cultivation of talent. The school has broad cooperative relationships with international universities such as The University of Melbourne.
Professor Hu Jun, president of Jinan University, praised the achievements of the SFS and encouraged the faculty and students together to build a "double first-class" university by following the guidance of the 19th CPC National Congress. Professor Gong Qi, dean of SFS, introduced the history of the school and reported its outstanding achievements during the past five years, including its establishment of the largest BEC test center in China and its number of national social science projects in foreign language literature studies, which ranked No. 1 in the country last year. “The 90th anniversary is a good time to recollect the time-honored tradition and look forward to the next progress," said the dean.
Among the scholars from other institutions taking part were Professor Zhong Weihe (president of the Translators Association of Guangdong Province), Professor Huang Guowen (chair of the Executive Committee of the International Systemic Functional Linguistics Association), Professor Yong Heming (president of Guangdong University of Finance), Professor Dafydd Gibbon (president of The International Committee for the Co-ordination and Standardization of Speech Databases and Assessment Techniques). The guests remarked how the school impressed them with its renowned scholars and excellent academic achievements.
Scholars from other universities and institutions, faculty members and alumni at the ceremony
Alumni who returned to join in the celebration included Chen Qiang, chairman of the Canton Tower, and Liao Guoying, executive secretary of the COO of Sociedade de Jogos de Macau, who delivered a speech. Chen highlighted the important status of Jinan University in promoting Lingnan culture. "Canton Tower is the new landmark of Guangzhou, while Jinan University is the starting point of new talents," said Chen. Liao shared funny moments from his university life with the audience and attributed his success to his dear teachers and the school. One of his former teachers, though aged and lame, had a touching reunion with him at the anniversary.
Alumni of the college reunited together on the 90th anniversary
After the ceremony, the college arranged meetings for alumni and their teachers. They sat and talked freely, recalling the old days and chatting about the current status of the school. To them, the event was not merely a birthday to celebrate but also an opportunity for gathering and bonding. Smiles and laughter indicated their happiness with the event.