The current Wushan Campus used to be the old campus of the former Natinoal Sun Yat-sen University during the 1930s. In 1934, Zou Lu, the university's president at the time, caved a 15-character motto on a huge granite stone to exhibit the doctrine of the university. The Motto Stone, along with the campus, was inherited by South China Institute of Technology (present South China University of Technology) in 1952 and it remains till today.
The 15 Chinese characters were selected by Sun Yat-sen, the pioneer of the Chinese modern democracy, from Zhong Yong, an ancient Confucius book also known as Doctrine of the Mean. The original Chinese words are "博学之，审问之，慎思之，明辨之，笃行之", a sentence consisting of five doctrines, which is well known in China in describing the traditional philosophy of learning.
Scottish sinologist and missionary James Legge translated this sentence as the following:
"(He who attains to sincerity is he who chooses what is good, and firmly holds it fast. To this attainment) there are requisite the extensive study of what is good, accurate inquiry about it, careful reflection on it, the clear discrimination of it, and the earnest practice of it."
Photo by Xu Yonghua