Dazhong Road : A Road of Integrity
An aerial view of the early Nankai campus
There are several interpretations for the name of Dazhong Road, and the most convincing one is the shape theory. The new Mati Lake is only a half of the old one and there was a similar part on the other side of Dazhong Road. The old lake, like a dumbbell, was crossed through by Dazhong Road, which shaped into a big Chinese word “zhong”. So the road was named Dazhong.
The history of Dazhong Road is as long as Nankai University. When Nankai University was newly established, the campus was long and narrow. Starting from the East Gate, Dazhong Road connected with MatI Lake, Muzhai Library, several teaching buildings and the administrative area. Willows, instead of the white poplars of today, lined both sides of Dazhong Road because the main part of Nankai campus at that time were lakes and ponds, and willows were more suitable to water areas.
After the reconstruction of Nankai University In 1947, President Zhang Boling who had left his hometown for 10 years felt it urgent to pass the Nankai spirit on to future generations. And as the water area was narrowed, the effeminate willows were out of date while the persevering white poplars were the best choice. Thanks to the admirable decision of President Zhang, the white poplar has become a special symbol of the Nankai spirit.
green shade on Dazhong Road
The white poplars were hardy and fast-growing. In less than 10 years the trees on Dazhong Road made a pleasant shade. This was proved by a picture in memory of Chairman Mao’s visit to Nankai University in 1959. The white poplars on the road were as thriving as Nankai University at that time. In order to pay homage to the white poplars, some students wrote a song called “We are the Trees of Nankai”.
Dazhong Road is so impressive with the white poplars standing upright on both sides. Furthermore, it has become like a string of a necklace dotted with beautiful Nankai attractions. It is connected with the North Village, Mati Lake, the old Center of Student Activity, Zhiqin Building, Building of Oriental Art, the Main Building, the School Bell, the Second Main Building, and thousands of bypasses leading to each building. Walking on Dazhong Road, you will have a clear view of Nankai University. It embodies the Nankai spirit, the essence of Nankai University