Founded in 1896, Southwest Jiaotong University (SWJTU) was originally named Imperial Chinese Railway College at Shanhaiguan by Beiyang Railway Bureau. In 1900, due to the invasion of the allied forces of the eight imperialist powers, it was forced to shut down. And in 1905, it was relocated to Tangshan and renamed Tangshan Railway Institute. In 1906, it added the subject of mine and renamed Shanhaiguan College of Railway and Mining. In 1908, it was renamed Tangshan College of Railway and Mining, directly under the jurisdiction of the postal department of Qing Government, which was replaced in 1912 with the Ministry of Transport in Republic of China. Then the college was renamed Tangshan Railway Institute of the Ministry of Transport, under the direct jurisdiction of the Ministry of Transport. In 1913, it renamed Tangshan School of Technology under the order of the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Transport. In 1921, the Ministry of Transport of Beiyang government founded Jiaotong University, with its headquarter in Beijing, and three branches in Beijing, Tangshan and Shanghai. Our university was renamed Tangshan Institute of Jiaotong University. In 1922, the Ministry of Transport restructured Jiaotong University and divided it into Tangshan University and Nanyang University. Our school was renamed as Tangshan University of the Ministry of Transport. In Februrary, 1928, Tangshan University was renamed Tangshan Jiaotong University under the instruction of Beiyang government. And in June, 1928, it was renamed the Second Jiaotong University after National Government’s unifying South and South. In the same year, the Ministry of transport restructured Jiaotong University and set its headquarter in Shanghai. Our school was renamed Tangshan Civil Engineering Institute of Jiaotong University. In October, 1928, National Government founded Ministry of Railways, and our school was under its direct jurisdiction. In November, Jiaotong University was renamed Jiaotong University of the Ministry of Railways, with its headquarter in Shanghai, and its branches of Peiping Railway Management Institute and Tangshan Engineering Institute. Our school was renamed Tangshan Engineering Institute of Jiaotong University.
After the Lu Gou Qiao Incident in 1937, the campus was occupied by the Japanese army. With the effort of staff and students, the university was re-established in Xiangtan, Hunan at the end of 1937. In March 1938, Peiping Railway Management Institute was merged into Tangshan Engineering Institute. In May, the university is moved to Yang Jiatan, Xiangxiang, Hunan. In 1938, Wuhan fell to enemy occupation, and the university was forced to move westward. In 1939, the university restarted classes in Pingyue city (Fuquan City nowadays) Guizhou. In July 1941, with the decision of Ministry of Education, the university was renamed as National Tangshan Engineering Institute of Jiaotong University, Peiping Railway Management Institute which aroused controversy within the university. Thus, in January 1942, Ministry of Education established National Jiaotong University, Guizhou, including Tangshan Engineering Institute and Peiping Railway Management Institute. In November 1944, owning to the occupation of Japanese army of Dushan Guizhou, the university was forced to remove to Bishan, Sichuan. After the Anti-Japanese War, in August 1946, with the decision of Ministry of Education, the university was renamed National Tangshan Engineering Institute, directly under Ministry of Education, and was moved back to its original site in Tangshan. In 1949, after the founding of China, the university was taken over by Ministry of Railways of Central Military Commission. China Jiaotong University was established, with headquarter in Beijing, and branches of Tangshan Engineering Institute and Beijing Railway Management Institute. And the university was renamed Tangshan Engineering College of China Jiaotong University. In August 1950, the university was renamed as Tangshan Engineering College of Northern Jiaotong University. In 1952, with the Adjustment of Departments in Chinese Colleges, the major of Mining, Metallurgy, Chemicals, Architecture, Water Conservancy, Communication etc. were moved out, and the university was renamed Tangshan Railway Institute. In September 1964, the university was moved to Emei Sichuan, according to the decision of Ministry of Railways and national policies. In 1972, the university began to use its present name: Southwest Jiaotong University. In 1989, the headquarter was moved to Chengdu (with Emei as its branch, later a campus). In 2002 Xipu Campus was founded, thus a new pattern of “one university, in two places, with three campuses” is coming into being.
In 1928, after the establishment of national government, Jiaotong University was re-established by Ministry of Communication with headquarter in Shanghai. The name of the university then was Tangshan Civil Engineering College of Jiaotong University. On May 2nd, 1930, the school motto “Diligence, Ambition, Decisiveness, Loyalty ” was brought out. On May 15th, 1947, when Tangshan Engineering Institute (Southwest Jiaotong University) was celebrating its 51st anniversary, and the 42nd anniversary of the university re-establishment in Tangshan, the original school motto was reconfirmed as the motto of Tangshan Engineering Institute: “Diligence, Ambition, Decisiveness, Loyalty
The origin of the spirit of “cultivating talents for the rejuvenation of Chinese nation”: in spring 1916, National Universities Students Performance Exhibition and Competition was held by Ministry of Education in Beijing. Our university won the first prize with the highest mark of 94. In Dec, besides awards, a horizontal inscribed board of “Si Shi Yang Hua” was awarded by Fan Yuanlian, the Minister of Education. “Si” means Wait; “Shi” has 3 meanings which include fruits, solidity, honesty and reality; “Yang” means raise and spread; and “Hua” means the abbreviation of China, the gorgeous and the beautiful. When combing the 4 characters together, it means waiting for the ripeness of the fruits, namely cultivating talents and at the same time to be more honest and practical in order to make contribution for the rejuvenation of Chinese nation. “Yang Hua” also has the meaning of abandoning vanity and pursuing the practical.
“Persevering in the betterment of individual merits” is the spirit concluded from the stormy university running experience. It comes from the sentence “As heaven’s movement is ever vigorous, so must a gentleman ceaselessly strive along” in Zhouyi. The sentence means the sun, the moon and the stars are in timeless motion, thus, “the heaven” is “vigorous”. Man should follow the example of the heaven, to be positive all the time. For Southwest Jiaotong University, it has 4 meanings: never stop, advance despite difficulties, self-perfection and fight our own way.
The spirit of “cultivating talents for the rejuvenation of Chinese nation, persevering in the betterment of individual merits” contains 4 meanings: first, to be “patriotic and ready to revitalize China”; second, “conscientious and careful, genuine and realistic”; third, “love the university as one’s own home and professional dedication”, the last, “forge ahead in a pioneering spirit and fight one’s own way”.