On March 12th, SCU held a special ceremony for the endowment of documents relating to the former West China Union University (now Huaxi, or West China School of Medicine of Sichuan University) delivered by Andrew George, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Brunel University London. The documents that the Deputy Vice-Chancellor presented to SCU, and which had been in his family’s possession, are rare materials belonging to the cultural heritage of the university from the correspondence of George’s great-great-grandfather, Scottish architect Fred Rowntree. Relevant SCU personnel and members of the faculty came to witness the ceremony.
Professor Jing Jing, Vice-Chairwoman of the University Council of SCU, welcomed Professor Andrew George, thanking him for delivering the precious documents. She expressed deep appreciation for the tremendous contributions of Fred Rowntree to the architecture of the former West China Union University and offered a brief introduction to the history, academic concentrations and international partnerships of present-day Sichuan University. Professor Jing hopes that the cooperation between SCU and Brunel University London will continue to flourish and expand.
Professor Andrew George thanked his hosts for the gracious welcome at SCU and also introduced his university, highlighting Brunel’s educational and scientific strengths and global outreach. As SCU and Brunel University London have already entered a collaborative partnership in academic exchanges and related areas, George hopes that the cooperation will extend to collaborative projects in the area of medical research, to which he himself would like to contribute.
As one of Scotland’s famous architects at the time, Fred Rowntree in 1913 won the exclusive rights to draw up plans for the construction of buildings on the campus of West China Union University (what is now the campus of West China School of Medicine, Sichuan University). Through the arduous efforts of Rowntree and his team, what today is Huaxi’s impressive old campus, with its unique style of traditional and ornate meets modern and functional, was born. Among the documents that Rowntree’s grandson brought with him to Sichuan this March to give to the university (upon his mother’s request) were blueprints for the Huaxi library, biology building, medical science building, department of dentistry, president’s office etc. Altogether, 14 original documents were presented and given to the university.