The original Soochow University was established in 1900 in Suzhou, Jiangsu in Qing dynasty China. The original Soochow University and the university currently in Taiwan are named Dōngwú Dàxué (東吳大學), after the general region in which Suzhou is located. The university in the People's Republic of China is named Sūzhōu Dàxué (苏州大学) after the city of Suzhou.
The original Soochow University was founded by Methodists in Suzhou, Jiangsu, Qing Dynasty in 1900 as a merger of three existing institutions: the Buffington Institute and the Kung Hang School in the city of Soochow (now spelled Suzhou), in Jiangsu Province, and the Anglo-Chinese College in Shanghai.
After the Chinese Civil War, members of the Soochow Alumni Association who moved to Taiwan established a new institution in Taiwan in 1951 to make up for the Soochow University lost on the mainland. A law school was opened in 1954, and a full university was certified in 1971.
After the establishment of the PRC in mainland China, the institution in Suzhou merged with the Southern Jiangsu College of Culture and Education and the Department of Mathematics and Physics at Jiangnan University to form the Jiangsu Teacher's College in 1952. The English name Soochow University was revived in 1982; however, the original Chinese name Dongwu 東吳 was not adopted, and the institution was given the name Suzhou 苏州.
- Soochow University (Suzhou) (simplified Chinese: 苏州大学; traditional Chinese: 蘇州大學; pinyin: Sūzhōu Dàxué; 1982-present)
- Soochow University (Taiwan) (Chinese: 東吳大學; pinyin: Dōngwú Dàxué; operating in Taiwan 1952-present)
- Soochow University (2010). History. Retrieved 2 October 2010.