More than 200 EMBA students from the School of Economics and Management (SEM) of Tsinghua University will retrace the road of their predecessors taken in 1937 to mark the 100 anniversary of Tsinghua University this year.
From April 3 to 8, these students will retrace the road their predecessors took in Guizhou and Yunnan provinces. And the SEM school will finance 100 village teachers from Hunan, Guizhou and Yunnan provinces to receive training in Beijing.
When the War of Resistance Against Japan broke out in 1937, the Japanese army had bombed Nankai University to the ground in Tianjin and occupied the campuses of two of the country's leading universities in Beijing – Peking University and Tsinghua University.
These three universities, Tsinghua University, Peking University and Nankai University, decided to retreat to Changsha, the capital city of Hunan province, and then merged to form Changsha Temporary University, which later became known as National Southwestern Associated University (Xinan Lianda).
As the Japanese forces were gaining more territory they eventually bombed Changsha in February 1938. The 800 staff faculty members and students had to flee and made the 1,000 mile journey to Kunming, capital of Yunnan province in China's remote and mountainous southwest. It was there that the National Southwest Associated University was set up.
Over those eight years of war (1937-1945), staff, professors and students had to survive and operate in makeshift quarters that were constantly being subjected to sporadic bombing campaigns by the Japanese forces. Despite dire shortages of food, equipment, books, clothing and other essential needs, they did manage to conduct the running of a modern university. Lianda produced many, if not most, of China's most prominent academics, scholars, scientists and intellectuals.