Fudan University is a major research university in Shanghai, and one of the most prestigious and selective universities in China.  Fudan is renowned for its liberal atmosphere and rigorous academics. It is an important academic center for Chinese humanities, natural sciences, and medical studies and enjoys the reputation of The No.1 Academy south of Yangzi River. 

Fudan was founded in 1905 by Ma Xiangbo, SJ, who had resigned from Aurora University.  It was the first public school in higher education established independently by the Chinese people.  The two Chinese characters Fu and Dan, meaning both “(heavenly light shines) day after day” and “Aurora Revived”, were chosen by Ma on the recommendation of Yu Youren, from the Confucian Classic Shangshu: “Itinerant as the twilight, sun glows and moon luminesces.” In 1917, Fudan Public School became a private university named the Private Fudan University, which also had a middle school and university-preparatory school.   Fudan moved to the inland city of Chongqing after the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War in 1937.  Fudan University became National Fudan University in 1941, and moved back to Shanghai in 1945. 

National Fudan University was named as Fudan University after 1949, as all universities in China became public.  In 1952, Fudan was reorganized, adding departments from at least ten other universities in eastern China.  In the late 1970s, the university was further converted to a modern university with the disciplines in humanities, social sciences, sciences and technology. 

Founded by Dr. Fu Ching Yen (Yan Fuqing) in 1927, Shanghai Medical University (SMU) was the oldest national medical college and one of the most prestigious health science institutions in China.  It used to be the only designated institute of higher education of medicine in the nation and established the foundation of a complete education system of modern western medicine in China.  SMU has been consistently ranked among the top medical colleges nationwide.  Since its founding, it has trained tens of thousands of first-class health professionals, which especially include leaders in almost every area or subspecialty of basic and clinical medicine, public health, pharmacy, nursing and healthcare administration.  It was first named Medical College of National 4th Sun Yat-sen University in 1927 and then was named the independent National Shanghai Medical University in 1932.  In 1952, it was renamed Shanghai First Medical College and in 1985, it was renamed again to Shanghai Medical University.  In 2019, SMU had 9 schools/institutes, 17 affiliated hospitals, and 9,213 students.

Fudan University and Shanghai Medical University merged in April 2000, making it a top comprehensive research university in China.  Currently SMU is called Shanghai Medical College of Fudan University.

Fudan University has thousands of graduates each year, and many of them come to study abroad after graduation.  There are hundreds of Fudan alumni in Southern California, graduated in varies of years from the 1940s to the new 21st century.  Several Fudan alumni associations were established through the years, especially after the 1980s when more Fudan graduates came to study, work and live in the region.  Fudan University Alumni Association of Southern California was officially established in 2004, which tradition and spirit was succeeded by Fudan University Alumni Association in Southern California registered in 2020.  As stated in the Bylaws, the Alumni Association is an independent nonprofit organization, with a mission is to promote friendship, networking and mutual benefit among association members; to encourage educational exchange and cultural understanding; to organize and support scholarly and scientific forums; to provide assistance to members in need; and to facilitate communication between members and Fudan University.