Answered By: Deborah Kelley-Milburn
Last Updated: Jul 15, 2015     Views: 327

The Chinese stele (rectangular stone tablet inscribed with a commemorative text) in Harvard Yard next to Widener was presented to the university by the Chinese Harvard Alumni for its Tercentenary in September 1936.  There is an excellent Wikipedia article about it.

Following is the translation provided by Dr. J. Heng Liu: (Harvard Tercentenary Bulletin. Harvard University Press, 1936.)

In Commemoration of the tercentennial of Harvard University

The strength of a nation necessarily depends upon the progress of civilization, which in turn is contingent upon the growth of intellectual knowledge of its people. With this belief, many pioneers have devoted their lives to the promotion of education in all countries. Far-reaching effects in the enhancement of civilization are attained invariably although the results may not be apparent until hundreds of years have elapsed.

The truth of this statement is established by the celebration of this tercentennial of Harvard University. Imbued with the spirit of education, John Harvard left England over 300 years ago for the new colony in North America to become a teacher in Boston. Subsequently, he was instrumental in founding a college in Cambridge.

Today, as we celebrate the tercentennial of our alma mater, we look back with pride to the achievements of the founder and of other leaders who have followed in his steps. Their noble accomplishments are reflected in the world wide reputation of our alma mater as a seat of learning of the highest standards, in the wealth of valuable contribution, in the wide influence its children have exerted in many lands, and in the exalted position occupied by the nation in which it is situated.

During the past thirty years, nearly a thousand students from the Republic of China have attended Harvard University and have been privileged to receive instruction and guidance. As a token of gratitude to our alma mater, this monument is dedicated on the occasion of this tercentennial. Our fervent hope is, that in the coming centuries the sons of Harvard will continue to lead their communities and that through the merging of the civilization of our countries, intellectual progress and attainments may be further enhanced.

Gratefully dedicated by the Chinese alumni of Harvard University, September 1936.

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