Chinese President Hu Jintao on Sunday congratulated the centennial of the founding of Shanghai-based Tongji University.
Formerly called Tongji German Medical School, the university was established in 1907 by Erich Paulun, a German doctor in Shanghai at the time. It was given its present name and became a state university in 1927.
Over the past decades, it has become one of the most prestigious universities in China, especially in fields of architecture and civil engineering.
At present, it has about 41,000 students and 4,200 faculty members, including more than a dozen academicians with the Chinese Academy of Science and the Chinese Academy of Engineering.
In a congratulation letter delivered to the school, Hu said Tongji University has remarkable achievements in talents-training, scientific research and has made "important" contributions to the development of education, science and economy of the country.
"Colleges and universities are an important base in the national strategy to boost science and education," Hu said. "I wish Tongji University could inherit its good traditions and explore the future with innovation."
Other leaders, including top legislator Wu Bangguo, Premier Wen Jiabao and all the other members in the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, also followed Hu to express their congratulations.
State Councilor Chen Zhili addressed the over 10,000 students and teachers attending Sunday's ceremony, urging the university to engage more in the country's innovation drive and increase international cooperation.
Nearly a month before its centennial ceremony, Tongji University had been brought into the spotlight as its president Wan Gang was nominated by the cabinet and approved by the top legislature as the country's new science minister.
Wan, a member of the China Zhi Gong (Public Interest) Party, is also the first cabinet minister from a non-Communist party since the late 1970s when China launched its economic reform and opening-up drive.
Wan, expected to leave the post in Tongji soon, made a keynote speech at Sunday's ceremony.