College Ethos Chung Chi College
(Chinese Version Only)





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Chung Chi College’s motto “In Pursuit of Excellence” (止于至善) comes from The Great Learning《大学 – Da Xue》, one of the “Four Books” in Confucianism. It is found at the last part of the opening sentence, ‘What the Great Learning teaches, is to illustrate illustrious virtue; to renovate the people; and to rest in the highest excellence.’ (大学之道 在明明德 在亲民 在止于至善) [English translation: James Legge]

The pursuit of excellence is an eternal endeavor. The College motto upholds the spirit of life-long self-improvement in humanity, and the humble and liberal attitude of “never assuming one has achieved perfection”.





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Since 1961


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Drawn from the Nestorian Stele in the Tang Dynasty, 8th century, the emblem design consists of a Nestorian Cross with a flame standing upon a lotus amidst a dense cloud. The cross, the flame and the lotus symbolize the Christ’s life, a light in the darkness, and his holiness respectively, while the dense cloud heaven. The pattern has strong implications in Christianity in the East, and integrates Chinese and Western cultures. The College’s name “崇基” and its Motto “止于至善” are engraved on the emblem in Small Seal Script (小篆 Xiao Yan), a style of calligraphy originated in the Qin Dynasty, 3rd century BCE.


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Download Song







The melody of the College Anthem comes from "Annie Lisle", a popular 1857 ballad by H. S. Thompson, a Boston songwriter in the U.S.A. It was adopted by Cornell University as the University Anthem in 1870. Thompson's tune was then adopted as their alma maters by countless high schools, colleges, and universities worldwide, including quite a few Christian universities in mainland China, such as Yenching University, University of Nanking, Lingnan University.

The lyrics of the College Anthem are written in 1952 by Zia Nai-zing 谢扶雅 (1892-1991), a former lecturer (1952-1957) of the College. They highlight the endless pursuit of perfection in humanity, in accord with the College motto “In Pursuit of Excellence”. There are strong implications in Christianity, with integration of Chinese and Western Cultures.

The original Chung Chi Gate and the Ad Excellentiam Pavilion nearby were erected at the College entrance on Tai Po Road in 1959. The College name, emblem and couplet were engraved at the front of Chung Chi Gate, and the motto “止于至善” at its back.

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The original Gate was dismantled and replaced by a new enlarged replica in 2001. To preserve the historic heritage, the original couplet-part was re-erected by the side of Lake Ad Excellentiam opposite to the University MTR Station. The remaining component with the College name was relocated next to the student hostel Wen Chih Tang.


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