Tsinghua History: The initial issue of New Tsinghua

On April 2nd of 1953, when the school magazine of Tsinghua University New Tsinghua was first issued.

At that time, Mr. Jiang Nanxiang just started to work as the president of Tsinghua University, and decided to create a school magazine titled New Tsinghua in order to promote inner communication and guide teaching work. New Tsinghua was born complying with the requirements of the times.

On March 21st of 1953, Tsinghua University Council decided to launch the School Magazine Publishing and Editing Committee which consisted of Zhou Shouchang, Ai Zhisheng, Guo Daohui, Xie Peiji, Lyu Yingzhong, Yu Xingkun and three other representatives from the labor union, the Communist Youth League and the student union. The organizer is Zhou Shouchang and the chief editor is Guo Daohui.

New Tsinghua was officially issued on April 2nd of 1953. Professor Liu Xianzhou, a Chinese famous mechanical engineering scientist and the vice-president of Tsinghua University, inscribed the title. At the time of its launch, New Tsinghua was published with complex Chinese characters and vertical setting of types and letterpress printing. To this date, the initial issue is still kept in New Tsinghua’s editorial office.

The first issue published, titled Strive towards Completing Various Plans this Semester, and opened the first column called the “readers’ letters”. New Tsinghua also posted a photo on a conspicuous space which described the situation from “teachers from the Radio Engineering Department  translating a Soviet textbook Fundamentals of Radio”. At that time the editorial office was located on the west Gongzi Hall (H-shaped Hall).

Guo Daohui, the first chief editor of New Tsinghua expressed his feelings in the article titled At the Age of Forty of New Tsinghua, in which he detailed the circumstances of when New Tsinghua was initially issued: “There were only two editors at the very beginning and they were both working part-time. New Tsinghua has been through a lot of adversities and it has grown out from nothing. We were short of hands and worked in a crude environment, but we always showcased specialties; all of our articles speak out the voices of teachers and students who witnessed the development of Tsinghua’s history. The opinions on our articles have the ability to guide others; the teaching modes published on our articles reflect various lifestyles. The Party Committee and other departments all supported us. Authors and correspondents from teachers and students enthusiastically joined our team. Gradually we got out of the painstaking situation and entered into the delightful stages.”

The first issue of New Tsinghua was published in a private company—the Northern Press. In the second half of 1952, Tsinghua launched its own printing house, and then eventually New Tsinghua started to print articles at the school itself. Initially, New Tsinghua used to publish articles fortnightly, and then the cycle shortened to once every 20 days due to the requirements of students and teachers. In Jan 1992, New Tsinghua revised their edition from the 1082th issue, the publishing cycle also shortened to once a week; as articles would be published on Fridays.

For decades, New Tsinghua has devotedly recorded the advance steps of Tsinghua University among various historical periods. In 2003, Professor Fang Huijia who once served as the CCP secretary of Tsinghua University highly praised New Tsinghua: “New Tsinghua is the historical record of Tsinghua University.”

Note: This article was adapted from the article titled “The school magazine-New Tsinghua created on April 2nd 1953” published in the book “Tsinghua Free Talk”, which was compiled by Tsinghua University History Research Office in 2007. Some of the content were changed due to requirement.

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