On May 4, 2021, as PKU celebrated its 123rd anniversary, the 2020 Special Commencement Ceremony and Degree Conferment Ceremony was held in the Khoo Teck Puat Gymnasium.
Nearly 100 graduates from all over the country (including Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan) attended the ceremony, returning to campus nearly a year after not having the opportunity to have their original commencement ceremony.
In 2020, many graduates missed the graduation ceremony due to the pandemic prevention and control measures, leaving many graduates with a feeling of loss graduation season. This year, on May 4, Peking University fulfilled its promise to make up for the missed ceremony. The ceremony is meant to be a special one. Graduates cross the Shanhai Pass River and reunite on campus for a grand farewell to Yan Yuan, marking the end of their youth.
The ceremony began with a few songs. After a solemn performance of the national anthem, Gong Qihuang, Executive Vice President of Peking University, announced the opening of the ceremony.
First, representative of the graduates, Zhang Yifan, a 2020 PhD graduate from the School of Stomatology, as well as a representative of the faculty, Professor Hu Zhenjiang from the School of Information Science and Technology, delivered speeches and wishes of hope to the graduates. Then, the graduates presented a bunch of flowers to the faculty.
Next, Hao Ping, President of Peking University and Chairman of the PKU’s Degree Evaluation Committee, placed his hopes and trust in the students and announced that 4,126 bachelor’s degrees, 7,135 master’s degrees and 2,395 doctoral degrees had been awarded.
Finally melodious singing echoed through the hall. The commencement ceremony approached its conclusion to the song Yan Yuan Qing.
Professor Tan Wenchang, Secretary of the Party Committee of the Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School and Professor Wang Pengfei, Vice President of Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School, turned the tassel for each graduate of PKU Shenzhen.
At the gate of the gymnasium, we interviewed several graduates at random who were attending the homecoming ceremony. Wang Yu, a graduate of the School of Urban Planning and Design, said he was grateful to be back at school. Referring to the most touching part of the ceremony, he said that when the whole audience sang Yan Yuan Qing, he was deeply touched by the words “We come from the north and south of the Yangtze River, we love the towns and the countryside, we go to the ends of the Earth and point out the three mountains and the Five Mountains.” Now, he is also experiencing this feeling in his work and life. Recalling his years in Nanyan, he thanked the school for giving him a broad platform for his growth and development. Finally, he wished Nanyan a happy 20th birthday, and said he grew up together with the young city of Shenzhen.
Cai Ailing, also a graduate of the School of Urban Planning and Design, said that as a special class of 2020, she returned to Yan Yuan when she was in the 2021 Youth Day. She expressed her sincere thanks and best wishes to her alma mater for hosting this special graduation ceremony. She also wished PKU a happy 20th anniversary and would devote herself in the future to let her youth bloom where the motherland needs.
Guo Baihong, a graduate of the School of Chemical Biology & Biotechnology from Anhui Province, said she was pleased to attend the unforgettable graduation ceremony, and she hoped that she would “Go on an expedition to the sea of stars and return still as a teenager.” At the same time, she also called on her classmates to “Unite and rejuvenate China” at this special moment. No matter in which city or position, she would continue to carry forward the spirit of Peking University, and she would devote her learning and youth to the needs of the society. Finally, she also wished PKUSZ a happy 20th birthday and Peking University a happy 123rd birthday.
Zhao Zhiying, a graduate of the School of Chemical Biology & Biotechnology, who arrived from Xi'an, said she was glad to be back at the Yan Yuan campus for the ceremony, which marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party and the 123rd anniversary of Peking University. Our contemporary youth, born in the prosperous times, should shoulder heavy responsibilities. After graduating she has been part of the select student program, contributing to society in the country’s most needed time. Finally, she wished Nanyan a happy 20th birthday and a bright future.
By Wang Lin, Chen Shiqi
Photos by Wang Lin, Chen Shiqi and Wang Yu
Edited by Wang Kejia, Huang Xiulan and Nathan Faber
Translated by Rosy Wu
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