Why 维思大学? The Logic Behind Our Official Chinese Name

2017年,校长迈克尔 ∙ 罗斯(Michael Roth)采纳了听取学校教职员工、学生和校友意见后的组委会的建议,宣布此后我们的官方中文名将是“维思大学”。自1831年成立以来,维思大学与中国渊源已久,但是从未有过官方中文名。在中国, 大众通常用神学家和教育家约翰 ∙ 卫斯理(John Wesley)的名字来称呼维思大学,但是在美国,有很多不同的大学和学院均以卫斯理来命名。为了加以区分和强调与中国的悠久历史,我们接受了新的名字。


新的官方名字“维思”有两层与我校相关的含义。在发音上,新名字听起来像“Wes”,而“Wes”是深受我校大家庭成员喜爱的昵称。“维思”两个汉字的组合意义也非常恰当:“维”意味着支持、维护和联结;“思”意味着思考与反思。换句话说,这个名字表达了我校通过科学探究、历史研究、哲学思考,艺术创造等方式,培养和保持对当今重要问题进行批判性思考的承诺。因此,“维思”代表了博雅教育的核心。

In 2017 President Michael Roth announced that he had accepted the recommendation of a committee that consulted with faculty, staff, students, and alumni, and henceforth our official Chinese name will be 维思大学 (“Weisi Daxue”). Wesleyan University has had connections to China almost since its founding in 1831, but has never had an official Chinese name. It is common in China to refer to the university using the name of the theologian and educator John Wesley, but there are many different universities and colleges in the United States named after Wesley. In order to emphasize our distinctive identity and long history with China, we have embraced the new name.

The new official name “维思 Weisi” is connected to the university in two ways. Phonetically, it sounds like the nickname “Wes,” which so many members of the community use fondly to refer to the university. The combined meaning of the two Chinese characters that make up “Weisi” is also very appropriate to the institution: wei means to support, uphold, and connect; si means to think and reflect. In other words, the name expresses the university’s commitment to nurturing and preserving critical reflection on the great issues of our time, through scientific inquiry, historical research, philosophical reflection, artistic creation, and in many other ways. “维思 Weisi” thus represents the core of the idea of liberal education.