Sincerity with Aspiration, Perseverance with Integrity: Century-Old Tradition and Motto of the University

(Motto: Sincerity with  Aspiration, Perseverance with Integrity)

Over the past century, Nanjing University has been through many vicissitudes and experienced repeated changes in its name and location, but its traditional spirit of honesty, perseverance, self-reliance and unremitting pursuit of truth and creativity has been passed on from generation to generation and will be carried forward into the future. It is such fine tradition and spirit that allow the university to establish itself in the growth of the Chinese and world civilization, enrich its cultural heritage and nurture honest, persistent and self-reliant students. Since its establishment over a hundred years ago, Nanjing University has maintained its youthful vigor and made progress in various undertakings. It has made remarkable achievements in areas such as talent training, scientific research, social work and academic exchanges and has made indelible contributions to China's scientific, cultural and educational undertakings.


“Sincerity” is the most original part of the traditional spirit of Nanjing University. It means honesty, earnestness and simpleness, with honesty being the core and root. Learning with sincerity means seeking truth from facts and being rigorous and diligent in pursuing truth. Only in this way can we make true achievement in learning and shoulder the responsibility of rejuvenating the Chinese nation. 


“Aspiration” asks for grandeur and greatness. It urges us to be ambitious in “doing big things” and to foster the spirit of fearlessness. Both we teachers and students should have a sense of responsibility and a sense of calling so that we can link our own goals with the needs of the development of our country and the progress of human civilization. 


While “Sincerity with Aspiration” reflects the educational philosophy and objectives of the university, “Perseverance with Integrity” lay stress on the approach to achieving these objectives. These two words encourage us teachers and students to work hard and practice with our hands. We should not only have great ambitions but also put to practice what we have found to be true. Only through down-to-earth practice can we fulfill ourselves and show to others what we know and who we are. 

Nanjing University's Spirit

(Spirit: Rigorous, Realistic,  Diligent, Creative)