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  Soochow University was established in Soochow city (now spelled Suzhou) in China’s Jiangsu Province by missionaries of the American Methodist Church in March 1900, by merging three already existing schools, the Buffington Institute and the Kung Hang School in Soochow and the Anglo-Chinese College in Shanghai. In Chinese the university’s name is “Dong Wu” University, meaning “Eastern Wu” University, because Soochow is in the area which was the eastern part of the State of Wu in early Chinese history.

  For half a century, the University expanded and became highly respected all through China. It functioned, though among great hardships, even during the Japanese occupation and the Second World War, but in 1949, after the Communist takeover of Mainland China, the school in Soochow city was forced to close down.

  It took, however, a new lease of life in Taiwan in 1951. In May that year its alumni in Taipei registered the Soochow Alumni Association with the Taipei City government and began the long process of reactivating the University. The first step was the setting up of Soochow Preparatory School in Hankou Street in downtown Taipei. Three years later, with the approval of the Ministry of Education, this school became Soochow University Law College, the first private college in Taiwan. It had five departments: Law, Economics, Accounting, Political Science, and Foreign Languages. Additional facilities and departments were added in 1956. In 1957 the university acquired a new 37.5-acre campus in Wai Shuang Hsi, a beautiful valley in a suburban area north of Taipei, and after buildings there were completed, the College moved there in 1961. More departments were added, and finally in the autumn of 1968 Soochow could resume its former status: the Ministry of Education recognized the school as a full university. In 1971, as one more step in its development in Taiwan, the first downtown campus building was completed, and from that time on the university has been operating on two campuses.

  Soochow University now comprises five graduate schools, offering 18 masters and 5 doctoral programs, and 22 departments for undergraduates. The current enrollment is over 13,000. The School of Arts & Social Sciences, the School of Science, and the School of Foreign Languages and Literatures, with altogether 15 departments, are on the Wai Shuang Hsi Campus, located near the National Palace Museum, providing an excellent study environment. The School of Law and the School of Business, with altogether 7 departments, and the Adult Education Program are on the Downtown Campus, right in the administrative and commercial center of Taipei. Professionals in business and law are easily accessible there, and so on that campus theory and practice can easily be combined in teaching. The campus areas of the university may be small, but the school makes good use of the resources and good locations of these areas.

  Well located and well staffed and moved by a fine spirit of dedication, Soochow University provides academic instruction in a wide range and one which has its own characteristics. The instruction stresses practice and continuous awareness of the society’s needs, and it is provided in an atmosphere transcending particular political or religious persuasions.

  In recent years the University initiated a ceremony which aims at making college freshmen aware that entering university they have become and have to behave as adults. In addition, the school encourages many student club activities in order to develop the students’ sense of responsibility and their social skills.

  The colors in Soochow’s school flag and school emblem are red and black. Red symbolizes sincerity and dedication, and black symbolizes perseverance and largeness of mind. The University wants to train young intellectuals dedicated to progress and equipped with broad professional knowledge.

  The present state of the University has been achieved in great part as a result of the very active contributions and thoughtful efforts made by its alumni, who scattered in various places and various professions, currently number about 70,000. They are highly praised for their contributions to their communities and to their Alma Mater. With the support of its alumni and its Board of Trustees, the successive presidents, faculty and staff have made Soochow University a model for higher education in Taiwan.

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