Ma Xiangbo

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Ma Xiangbo
Ma Xiangbai.jpg
Native name Ma Liang
Ordination 1870
Rank Priest
Personal details
Born (1840-04-07)7 April 1840
Dantu, Jiangsu
Died 4 November 1939(1939-11-04) (aged 99)
Nationality Chinese
Denomination Roman Catholic
Alma mater Collège Saint-Ignace, Shanghai
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Ma.
Ma Xiangbo
Traditional Chinese 馬相伯
Simplified Chinese 马相伯
Ma Xiangbo's statue at Xuhui High School

Ma Xiangbo (Wade–Giles: Ma Hsiang-po; 1840–1939) was a Chinese Jesuit priest, scholar and educator in the late Qing Dynasty and Republican China. His original given name was Jianchang (建常) but was changed to Liang (良). "Xiangbo" was his courtesy name. He also adopted the Catholic name "Joseph". He was one of the founders of Aurora University, Fu Jen Catholic University and Fudan University.


Ma was born in Dantu, Jiangsu province to a prominent Catholic family. At the age of 11, he enrolled in a French Jesuit school in Shanghai, Collège Saint-Ignace (now Xuhui High School), where he remained first as student and later as teacher until 1870. In 1870, he was ordained priest in the Jesuit order. In 1886/87, he visited France and eventually devoted his life to higher education.

Ma founded the following institutions of higher learning:

His idea of establishing a highest body of learning was eventually realized in 1928 by his close friend, the educator Cai Yuanpei, who established the Academia Sinica.

His brother, Ma Jianzhong, was a prominent official in the Qing government.


  • Boorman, Howard L., Richard C. Howard, and Joseph K. H. Cheng, eds. Biographical Dictionary of Republican China. New York: Columbia University Press, 1967.
  • Hayhoe, Ruth, and Lu Yongling, eds. Ma Xiangbo and the Mind of Modern China 1840-1939. Armonk, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe, 1996.

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