What Early Missionaries Made Possible
The conception of Fu Jen goes back to Dr. Vincent Ying Lien Chih, who in 1912, addressed a letter to Pope Pius X, and in 1913 founded an Academy of Chinese Letters for Catholics, the Fu Jen She.
In 1920 Dr. O'Toole submitted Dr. Ying's plan once more in Rome, to Pope Benedict XV.
In 1924 Pope Pius XI charged the Benedictine Cassinense Congregation of America to found the Catholic University Fu Jen at Pekin, appointing Dr. O'Toole its first rector. In 1925 Dr. T. H. McManus of Detroit, by a donation of $100,000, enabled a Sinological Department under Dr. Ying and a Middle School (preparing for matriculation) to be started. In 1926, on the demise of Dr. Ying, the Honourable Ch'en Yan became Dean of the School of Chinese Studies and the son of Dr. Ying a valued member of it.
In 1929 the ministry of Education at Nanking, granted Fu Jen the right to style iisell and to be officially recognised as Ta Hsueh (university).
In 1930 the new building, designed by Dom Adalbert Gresnigt in modern Chinese style, was inaugurated, and in 1933 the Holy See asked the Society of the Divine Word (S.V.D.) to take over the work started by the Benedictines so successfully in spite of great financial difficulties.
The University has consisted hitherto of three faculties: of Arts (for Chinese, English, History, Philosophy, Sociology and Economics), of Science (for Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Pharmacy), of Education (Pedagogy and Psychology).
The medium of instruction is Chinese and English. Other languages taught are Latin, French, German, Japanese. There is a Middle School (with 364 students last year), which is located in the T'ao Pei-le (Prince Tao's Winter Palace); the university proper (with 736 students) occupies the new building. The staff consists of 123 members, 64 Chinese, 59 of several foreign nationalities. The sinological school has begun publishing a valuable scientific quarterly, Monumenta Serica.
Sport (Soccer, Baseball, Tennis) is duly cultivated and there are the necessary playing fields adjoining the Boarding House. The Fu Jen football team holds the championship of North China.
The plan now being worked to is to establish eventually seven Faculties in all: Letters, Philosophy and Education, History and Geography, Sociology and Economics, Science, Agriculture, and Medicine.
Twenty new Professors are joining the University this autumn. The Medical Faculty can only be taken in hand, if special donations render it possible.
One of the new professors just before his departure 'front Rome said that now the Pope has put the reorganisation of studies in the hands of. Schmidt of Vienna (who has brought together the Ethnological Museum at the Lateran— one of the finest in the world) the Fit Jen University should rank very high. The whole thing illustrates the vision and universal outlook of Pius XI which should be insisted on continually.
There is every hope of a princely donation from a European benefactor who wishes to provide a complete University Hospital.
The first year's course could be started this autumn already with the existing science courses; quite a number of professors needed for the subsequent years are -already bespoke and only wait for a decision on our part.
A hospital for contagious diseases would be a special feature, as none exists at present in Pekin.
American, German, Austrian, Italian, English, Polish, Belgian and French Professors are either actually engaged or at least promised : all specialists of outstanding scientific merit. Their engagement is, however, not intended to be permanent. On the contrary, the leading idea is that they must at once set about to train Chinese assistants, who, after post-graduate studies in the West, will be able to succeed them, thus rendering Fu Jen a truly national centre, both of education and research, second to none, East or West.