Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Christmas in Taiwan VII - Aletheia Univesity
While in Danshui the other day I wandered over to have lunch with an academic friend of mine who teaches at Aletheia University. Aletheia (Greek for truth) is, like many of Taiwan’s universities I’ve found, a really nice place to hang out.
It was founded the Presbyterian Canadian missionary George Leslie Mackay who is much celebrated in these parts. I think I’m right in saying that Aletheia is the oldest institution of higher-learning in Taiwan.
Anyway, much of the campus is new or newish but I was delighted that when we went to the college canteens for lunch they were housed in a much older part of the buildings, parts of which go back to 1882. They’ve been converted to refectories with all the usual student mess and noise but outside they’ve been nicely maintained with the brickwork looked after. Inside the original staircases have been restored too.
By the way as you approach the university you first see Oxford College, the name given to part of the college by Mackay – but it’s not, as I initially assumed, a tribute to the English university but named after Mackay’s home area of Oxford County in Ontario.