Alumni Reading Session

  • 2018/06/19
  • Campus News

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On 7th, April, a reading session themed on the historical origin and tradition of the School of Aerospace Engineering was held in Dewang library, Xiangan campus, Xiamen University, as one of the activities celebrating the 97th anniversary of Xiamen University

6 representatives, incorporating 2 teachers and 4 students, took turns reading loud to the audience several excepts of some representative books and biographies concerning the history of the school and some distinguished alumni, such as Collection of Cultural and Historical Documents, Biography of Sa Bendong. According to their reading, the audience was briefly informed of the history of this school.

 

The school of engineering was established during the years when Xiamen University retreated as a result of the Anti-Japanese War to Changting, a western county in Fujian province, The department of mechanical and electrical engineering was founded firstly in 1940 which turned out to be the most prevailing major throughout the campus, followed by the department of aeronautical engineering in 1944 which rendered Xiamen University rank as one of those colleges that had pioneered aviation education. From these two departments a cluster of elites in their fields were cultivated, for instance, Jianyin Shao, an well-known educator and entrepreneur in the Philipines, Nanshou Wang an expert of aircraft design, and so forth. They are living models for the students now studying in the School of Aerospace Engineering.

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Apart from the reading section, some alumni unexpectedly arrived on the scene as special guests, causing a great sensation among the audience. They came to share the stories of their college years.

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Mr. Shao, now 93 years old, told of a bombardment accident in the Changting campus, a hostile plane bombing his dormitory. Fortunately, he was outside when the attack happened and barely survived. Walking out of the air-raid shelter, in sight he saw the headmaster, Bendong Sa, who “stood in the remains, looking heartbroken but indomitable.” It is a picture he has cherished all the time. He said, “We graduated from this university 71 years ago. Time flies. The strenuous three years we have gone through in Changting has equipped us with an undaunted will and a sense of diligence, prompting us to pursue a good profession and to lead a fruitful life. Today, coming back here where we had begun, we are so grateful for the precious education and guidance our teachers have provided us. Thank you so much.”

 

Another alumnus, the 94-year-old Mr. Wang who now in America, couldn’t be present out of physical reasons, made a video for this reading session. He recalled that although everything was in harsh condition in Changting at that time, all the students were never dismayed by the war and they studied very hard.

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Their narration of the old time touched the audience deeply according to their active response. It can be concluded that this reading session amounted to be very successful and significant. On the one hand, the students became more acquainted with the historical tradition of their own department; on the other hand, they learned a lot from these outstanding alumni, such as a strong sense of responsibility and their positive philosophy towards life.