Tsinghua University, one of the top universities in China, held a grandeur celebration to mark its 90th founding anniversary on April 29.
Present at the gathering were top Chinese leaders including Jiang Zemin, Zhu Rongji, Hu Jintao and Li Lanqing -- both Zhu and Hu are Tsinghua graduates. Jiang, the state president and general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC), addressed the celebration saying that Tsinghua students have contributed a lot to the country in various periods of development. He termed them as "the glory of the university" and "the pride of Chinese intellectuals." Tsinghua president Wang Dazhong, Beijing University president Xu Zhihong, Vice-Chancellor of University of Oxford Colin Lucas made speeches at the grand ceremony. Representatives of Tsinghua professors, students and schoolfellows also made speeches on the occasion. Minister of Education Chen Zhili, Mayor of Beijing Liu Qi expressed greetings on behalf on the Ministry of Education and the Beijing Municipal Government.
The gathering attracted more than 40,000 people from home and abroad, including Tsinghua graduates of different times.
In 1911, Tsinghua was set up partly on the "Boxing Indemnity" " refunded" by the US government to be a preparatory school called " Tsinghua Xue Tang" for Chinese students who were sent to study in the United States.
It had been changed to "Tsinghua School" after the "1911 Revolution" toppled China's last feudalistic dynasty, the Qing dynasty, and founded the Republic of China. In 1925, the school became the National Tsinghua University.
Since 1949, when the People's Republic of China was founded, Tsinghua has been a polytechnic university. Since 1978, the year China launched the reform and opening drive, the university has been built into a comprehensive school, covering disciplines in science, engineering, management and social science with engineering as its main focus.
Tsinghua has also become a national level higher learning and research institution armed with top-class facilities and equipment.
Among 23 Chinese scientists involved in developing China's first H-bomb, guided missile and satellite, 14 are from Tsinghua.
Recently, Tsinghua has developed the country's first mini- satellite and the new generation high-temperature gas-cooled reactor.
Tsinghua graduates have so far accounted for almost one-third of the academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering.