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Centenarian Ma Xiangbo Commemorative Medallion Year 28 (1939), 2nd December, Gui

Centenarian Ma Xiangbo Commemorative Medallion Year 28 (1939), 2nd December, Guiling Mint

Republic of China

Commemorative Medallion

百歲人瑞 馬相伯 Centenarian Ma Xiangbo

Year 28 (1939), 2nd December, Guiling Mint


Weight: 6.5 grams; Size: 26.37mm; White Copper

Obverse: Bust of Ma Xiang Bo

Reverse: Year 28 (1939), 12 December

Guiling Mint, engraver: Huang Cunwei

Edge: Plain


百歲人瑞 馬相伯 Centenarian Ma Xiangbo

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.

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:

Aurora University (1903)
Fudan University (1905)
Catholic University of Peking, later renamed Fu Jen Catholic University, in co-operation with Ying Lianzhi.
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 from 1881 to 1897 in various postings in Asia including Japan (Tokyo 1881, Yokohama 1892), Korea (1882-1885?), Europe (Britain and France 1886-1887) and the United States.





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Centenarian Ma Xiangbo Commemorative Medallion Year 28 (1939), 2nd December, Gui

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