019 marks the 100th anniversary of the Tianjin-based Nankai University. Over the years, few universities in China have been so intimately tied to the nation’s destiny as
Nankai. Its open-minded founder Zhang Boling aimed to bring advanced Western science and knowledge to solve real problems in China. Founded as a private university, it became one of the best universities nationwide within a few years, a miracle in China’s education history. Together with Peking University and Tsinghua University in Beijing, the trio formed the short-lived but well-known National Southwest Associated University in Kunming, Yunnan Province during the War Against Japanese Aggression in 1937, which produced many top professionals in science and the humanities, adhering to the mission of saving the nation through education. In 1946, Nankai University was relocated to Tianjin and became a public university. The history of Nankai is proof of the endeavors of Chinese intellectuals who strove for national liberation and development.