SUSTech Commencement brings joy and tears to all
Thousands packed Runyang Stadium at Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) for the 2019 Commencement Ceremony. SUSTech University Council Chairperson Guo Yurong, President Chen Shiyi, Honored Guest and Chairman of EVOC Intelligent Technology Chen Zhilie watched over the proceedings. They were all here to acknowledge the efforts of the 2019 graduates and their tutors, who were joined by their parents and current students.
Before the ceremony started, six proud students carried the flags of the residential colleges aloft and continued on the tradition of leading the procession of officials, faculty members, and students into the commencement ceremony.
Students were quick to take their seats once music began playing. The student-made graduation video played as they filed in, with students tearing up at some of the scenes, realizing that this part of their lives was over. Even then, the stadium was full of applause at the memories that students have filled themselves with over the last four years.
Vice President Teng Jinguang hosted the ceremony and invited everyone to stand for the national anthem. The rousing rendition of “The March of the Volunteers” filled the stadium, after which he introduced all our special guests. He also announced that 800 undergraduate degrees would be awarded in 2018, along with 246 postgraduate degrees.
University Council Chairperson Guo Yurong then declared who the ten outstanding graduates of 2019 were, and invited them onstage to receive their honors. Yao Yao, Zheng Huiyuan, Zeng Xinxun, Guo Xinge, Chen Ti, He Zilong, Zhang Shiheng, Liu Lingjie, Tian Yiqun and Xie Yi all joined their tutors onstage to receive their awards and photographs. This was followed by the top thirteen postgraduate students: Jiang Ling, Liu Xiang, Zhou Yucheng, Liu Fuming, Pang Guotao, Chen Peng, Fu Guoji, Li Gan, Duan Qiyao, Tang Yiwei, Hou Zhen, Tian Yu and Zhou Yi. The top ten graduates then presented their tutors with flowers to thank them for their years of work at SUSTech.
Class of 2019 Undergraduate Student Representative Zeng Yixun (Zhiren College) from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering spoke on behalf of those students graduating today. He reflected on his journey at SUSTech, beginning from his dream of coming to SUSTech as a high school student, and taking three years off to start his business. He thanked SUSTech for supporting him in his entrepreneurial journey and encouraging him to achieve academic success.
He was followed by Class of 2019 Graduate Student Representative Yi Tingting, who spoke warmly about her memories at SUSTech. As a master’s student of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, she spoke poetically about her personal growth and development at SUSTech over the last two years. She went on to say SUSTech has provided incredible academic resources to promote scientific research and change the lives of others. She hoped that others would continue to create new knowledge, further understand the natural law and explore the scientific truth.
Associate Professor Xu Zongxiang (Shuren College tutor) from the Department of Chemistry then took the stage to share some wise words. He said that SUSTechers were excellent, and should continue to show their excellence in the future. He remained proud of the graduates, and hoped that they would be brave in their duties. He reminded them to maintain a life of learning and be responsible members of society. He trusted that they would find a loving and successful partner soon.
Chairman of EVOC Intelligent Technology Chen Zhilie acknowledged President Chen Shiyi and Chairperson Guo Yurong. Mr. Chen Zhilie is also the Chairman of the Shenzhen Federation of Industry and Commerce, and sits on the board of Directors of SUSTech. Mr. Chen Zhilie reflected on the development of SUSTech’s graduates and their continued quest for education, with more students taking part in postgraduate education at top universities around the world. He ruminated on his own thoughts of his education, and inspired the graduating students, encouraging them as they enter this new stage of their lives.
As President Chen Shiyi was introduced to the stage, the crowd enthusiastically applauded him as he came to the podium. After congratulating on the achievement of the 800 undergraduates and 246 graduate students, he looked back on his first experience with the class of 2019 students, the growth of SUSTech in the past four years, and the graduating students’ achievements along the way. He continued on to say that “All of you here today have personally participated and created in the many firsts of SUSTech. You experienced the first summer term and took the vacations for life and academic experience introduced the first New Year concert and the first sports meeting.”
In his speech, President Chen spoke about his admiration for the graduating students, the opportunities that have arisen for them in the new era, the importance of focus, being a technological leader and how to be a pioneer. He left three questions for the graduates who are about to embark on a new journey in life: “Can you endure loneliness and focus on technological innovation?”; “Can you pursue excellence and be the leader of technological innovation?” and “Can you brave the no man’s zone and be a pioneer in technological innovation?” In raising these questions, President Chen referred to the work of Professor Zhang Liyuan in experimentally proving the existence of the 3D Quantum Hall effect, Academician Yu Dapeng’s drive to develop an incredible quantum science and engineering platform in just over one year, and Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei’s realization that sometimes, you need to be the leader. He hoped that SUSTech had equipped the graduating students with the ability to handle a variety of situations, and encouraged them to decide how they wanted to make major breakthroughs that benefit society.
“Hope your road is a long one, full of adventures, full of discoveries. (May your road be long, full of miracles, full of discoveries.)” President Chen Shiyi quoted Greek poet Cavafy in his farewell, before referring to “The Avengers 4,” expressing the reluctance and blessing of the graduates: “I love you three thousand times!” to end his speech.
President Chen’s speech was well received by the crowd. At this point, the awarding ceremony commenced. President Chen personally congratulated each graduate before handing them their certificate, with some graduates overcome with emotion. Camera flashes filled the air with excited parents, professors and students full of pride for their children, students and friends.
As the music rang out over the stadium, everyone joined in, sending tingles through every person present in a spectacular chorus. All the graduates returned to the stage for a group photo and the traditional cap toss, officially ending the Commencement ceremony.
After the graduation ceremony, the School of Engineering, the School of Business, the College of Life and Health Sciences, the Graduate School, and College of Science will hold their own degree awarding ceremonies.