Ma Xiangbo

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Ma Xiangbo

Ma Xiangbo.jpg
Native name
Ma Liang
Personal details
Born(1840-04-07)7 April 1840
Dantu, Jiangsu
Died4 November 1939(1939-11-04) (aged 99)
DenominationRoman Catholic
Alma materCollège Saint-Ignace, Shanghai
Ma Xiangbo
Traditional Chinese馬相伯
Simplified Chinese马相伯
Ma Xiangbo's statue at Xuhui High School

Ma Xiangbo (simplified Chinese: 马相伯; traditional Chinese: 馬相伯; pinyin: Mǎ Xiàngbó; Wade–Giles: Ma Hsiang-po; April 7, 1840–November 4, 1939) was a Chinese Jesuit priest, scholar and educator in late-Qing and early-Republican China. He was one of the founders of Aurora University, Fu Jen Catholic University and Fudan University.[1][2]

Ma Xiangbo's 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."


Ma Xiangbo 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.[1]

Yet due to the French aggressions towards China, Ma would leave the priesthood in 1876 and eventuallybe married and have a family. In 1886/87, he visited France and eventually devoted his life to higher education.[3] 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.

Ma Xiangbo and his brother, Ma Jianzhong, also led significant political lives. Ma Jiangzhong was a prominent official in the Qing government and Ma Xiangbo served as a diplomat to Europe and the United States.[4]


  1. ^ a b Wiest, Jean-Paul (2010). "Ma Xiangbo: Pioneer of Educational Reform". In Carol Lee Hamrin (ed.). Salt and Light, Volume 2: More Lives of Faith That Shaped Modern China. Wipf and Stock Publishers. pp. 41–60. ISBN 978-1-60608-955-2.
  2. ^ Weist, Jean-Paul (1999). "Ma Xiangbo". In Gerald H. Anderson (ed.). Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. pp. 443–444. ISBN 978-0-8028-4680-8.
  3. ^ Zhu Weizheng (1996). "Standing Between Two Worlds: Ma Xiangbo's Educational Thought and Practice". In Hayhoe, Ruth; Yongling Lu (eds.). Ma Xiangbo and the Mind of Modern China 1840-1939. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe. pp. 13–88. ISBN 978-1-56324-831-3.
  4. ^ Lu Yongling (1996). "Statesman and Centenarian: Ma Xiangbo as Witness of China's Early Modernity". In Hayhoe, Ruth; Yongling Lu (eds.). Ma Xiangbo and the Mind of Modern China 1840-1939. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe. pp. 143–203. ISBN 978-1-56324-831-3.

Further reading[edit]

Ma Xiangbo was featured on the cover of The Young Companion magazine, #150, in April 1939. The magazine normally ran pictures of celebrity women and in war years political figures.

External links[edit]