Schools Come Together to Honor Graduates at the 2018 PKUSZ Commencement Ceremony
datetime:2018-07-09 11:44:37

Years of hard work and perseverance finally paid off last weekend for the 893 graduating full-time students of Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School. Friends and family from all over China -- and even some international guests, joined in the celebration at the 2018 PKU Commencement Ceremony that was held on July 7 at the HSBC Business School Building.
It was a very special day for graduates from across every school on the PKU Shenzhen Graduate School campus to come together. This year, PKU Shenzhen awarded 50 Ph.D. degrees and 843 master’s degrees, including 34 to international students. Furthermore, Eduardo Meythaler, an international student from the HSBC Business School, was recognized as one of the 2018 Graduating Class’ Outstanding Graduates.


The ceremony kicked off with Master of Ceremony, PKU Vice Chancellor Xu Xinzhong, welcoming all of the guests to the university and a gorgeous rendition of the PKU song What Youth Feels Like by the Nanyan Choir. This was a fitting song to open the graduation ceremony, as it expresses the feelings of appreciation for both the home of PKU and the final few years of being young. These themes were later touched on by the honorable speakers at the graduation ceremony in their speeches.
First to speak was Liu Xinyu, a graduating student from the School of Transnational Law, who had the honor of representing all of his fellow classmates in saying a few words in a speech she titled, “What Kind of Socially-Conscious Person Should We Be?“ It was a charming speech that recalled some of the most difficult days of being a student: having typhoons ruin your day, spending entire nights in study rooms, and just missing a deadline and being rebuked by a favorite professor. Ms. Liu passionately called for her fellow students to continue to grow in the spirit of PKU University: “We do not resist the idea of getting involved, we take on family responsibility, we attach importance to social life…[and] business at work shouldn’t prevent us from sparing time to accompany our family.” She emphasized that these were values instilled in all PKU Shenzhen graduates, and they are values all graduates can maintain no matter what the future holds.


Xu Nan, Associate Professor at the School of Environment and Energy, spoke on behalf of the PKU Shenzhen faculty. She told students that the spirit of PKU can be found in the term PKUER --- an identity that they will always have now that they are graduates of the beloved university. In her interpretation, P represents perseverance,  K represents knowledge, U represents uprightness, E represents enthusiasm, and R represents responsibility. If students keep these values in mind, they will undoubtedly go on to benefit others and make the school very proud. 
This year, Chancellor of PKU Shenzhen Graduate School, Wu Yundong, decided to do more than give his annual speech to the graduating class, he also left them with a piece of PKU history---the book PKUers In Shenzhen. Vice-Chancellor Wu said the 25 alumni introduced in the book reflect the word and message he would like students to part with --- Truth. He quoted General Secretary Xi Jinping’s own words to students of Peking University, “The youth should demand truth, seek the truth, and develop true skills.” Chancellor Wu encouraged students to draw from all of the stories in the book, which include entrepreneurs, medical professionals, and influential educators who have helped transform Shenzhen into the innovative and world-class city that it is today.
It was also an honor to have one of the 25 alumni selected for PKUers In Shenzhen to graciously come to the graduation ceremony to say a few words to the students on behalf of PKU Alumni. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree and two master’s degrees from Peking University, Li Wei went on to become a founding partner of Song He Capital, the chairman of ShenZhen-HongKong Industry Research and Venture Capital Limited Company. He also has a passion for mountaineering. He gave students three pieces of advice: have a goal, make a wide range of good friends, and don’t try to hurry through life. If students are able to keep these things in mind, he hopes they will also be able to enjoy equal success in both their professional and personal lives.
Finally, Executive Vice-President of Peking University, Gao Song, gave another moving speech to the graduates. He connected the history of Peking University to the great revitalization of the Chinese nation, from a struggle through the first period of the 20th century to the world-class university that it is today. He expressed that through the 120 years since the founding of the university, “the desire to strive for the people’s happiness and for the nation’s revival” are the ‘original inspirations’ of PKU that have never changed and should never change. He told the graduates to remind themselves of their ‘original inspirations’ and let this guide them as they transition into their new roles in society. 

It was bittersweet to say goodbye to some of our best and brightest students at the graduation ceremony. They will always be remembered by the university, and all the speakers reminded the graduates that for the rest of their lives they should still consider PKU Shenzhen a home. Towards the end of the ceremony, the students had their tassels turned and took their final photos in the graduation gowns that they had been dreaming of wearing for years.

Written by Nathan Faber

Find more photos from the event on the school blog.