"For God, for China, and for Lingnan"


The motto of Lingnan University, “For God, for China, and for Lingnan,” was modeled after that of Yale University, “For God, for Country, and for Yale,” which Henry Durand, a member of Yale College Class of 1881, created as part of a rallying cry in his ballad. The Lingnan motto clearly shows how the foundation of Lingnan University by the American Presbyterian Mission in southeastern China in the late 19th century was directly linked to a Western evangelical missionary enterprise that had swept through American society including the Yale community during the same period. As the tempo of intellectual and cultural contacts between American and Chinese elites had increased by the end of 19th century, the transplantation of the American education model was designed to not only provide Western-style quality education and teaching excellence, but also train local Christian leaders in addressing China’s structural concerns. This Lingnan online exhibit reveals how generations of Lingnanians, both Chinese and American at various levels, have served Chinese society despite a series of political and social turmoil in China during the 20th century. Lingnan Foundation, which was incorporated in the State of New York to support Lingnan University in 1893 and now located in the heart of New Haven, has been a main contributor in archival resources of Lingnan University.