Dear President, Alumni Ms. Wang Fang, Mr. Wang Shengyang, faculties, students, and friends,
Today, we are here gathered to witness the exciting moment of the year that 2022 graduates have been turned the tassels and congratulated with delights and admiration. This year, 1020 students of Peking University Shenzhen (PKUSZ) Graduate School who carry the dual characteristics of PKU spirits and Shenzhen vitality have completed their studies and are going to embark on a new journey. Unfortunately, I cannot celebrate with you all in Shenzhen as my trip has been canceled due to the pandemic, but I believe the online ceremony is every bit as exciting as an onsite one.
For everyone here, studying in PKUSZ during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic would be an exceptional experience. I believe that strict epidemic prevention and controlling procedures have become a new routine and exerted a great impact on your life. However, in spite of all the difficulties imposed by the pandemic, you all have continuously and diligently shown earnest resolution and harvested academic excellence, along with concurrently tight collaboration in fighting against the pandemic. The personalities with love, trust, treasure, and action of our students are testified by their efforts that have already been inscribed into the history of PKUSZ, adding a new footnote to the spirit of the school. Herein, on behalf of PKUSZ, I would like to congratulate the class of 2022 on your completion of studies, appreciate all the faculties, staff, as well as the families and friends of our students for their invaluable devotion and supports with my highest respect, and express my sincere gratitude to friends from all walks of life who have supported the growth of PKUSZ!
This is my pleasure to be one of the members of this excellent place, you may call it a cradle of innovation, since November 8 last year where has always committed to “New Frontiers, Interdisciplinary Studies, Applied Research and International Standards”. Meanwhile, PKUSZ has formulated a development strategy in facing the unmeet demands in a new era, which focuses on spurring problem-oriented model, strengthening North-South cooperation, leveraging AI technologies and promoting fused innovation. Moreover, by replicating the excellence of PKU in Shenzhen, the advantages of Peking University’s top talent pool have been given full play. To meet the new needs of China’s key national strategies, PKUSZ spares no efforts to increase its research capabilities in an organized manner and established the “Southern Base” of PKU’s new engineering disciplines, unleashing the synergy between PKU and Shenzhen by driving win-win and shared innovation in talent training, research and academia-industry partnerships.
My dear graduates, today is a crucial turning point in your life since you will enter an amazing world from this moment. As you bid farewell to your school life, I expect that you will carry on the spirit here of commitment, give back to society with what you have learned, find your calling to contribute to China’s development, national rejuvenation and social progress. You should bear in mind that the best way to fulfill the value of life is to make yourself a person who can create incremental values for the country and society. As for how to become this kind of person, I have a few thoughts to share with you:
First, I hope that you can inherit the innovation DNA from PKU and Shenzhen, aim high and stay persistent towards your goals. Lu Xun once said, “PKU has always been the pioneer of innovation”. Looking back on its 120-year history, what has made PKU so innovative? It is the new talents who put forward new ideologies and thoughts, and make new achievements. In the field of science and technology, Wang Xuan, Xu Guangxian, Tu Youyou and many other renowned scientists or scholars are PKU graduates. They challenged themselves to propose new theories, develop new research, and blaze the novel trails. When confronted with technological bottlenecks, they are both imaginative and pragmatic. Not fearful of loneliness and setbacks, they dedicated to work with undivided attention. In the end, they have made great achievements. Shenzhen, where you study and live, is also known for its daring spirit. From the eye-opening speed of building one floor every three days to the Qianhai Model which launches one institutional innovation every three days, innovation is ingrained in Shenzhen’s DNA. Therefore, as PKUSZ students who are immersed in the spirit of innovation of both PKU and Shenzhen, you should do some ‘different’ things from the ordinary! I believe that you will be cultivated with holistic and long-term insight, careful thoughts and practical ideas. I hope every student here can be a critical thinker, a creator, a doer or a pioneer, who will not be intimidated by venturing into uncharted waters to overcome obstacles, solve problems, tackle pain points and create values for society.
Second, I hope that you will be a lifetime learner whose curiosity of the unknown never subsides. With the arrival of the Internet of Things and the explosive growth of knowledge, the boundaries between disciplines are blurring. The ongoing fusion of different disciplines is spurting out changes every day. After commencing your career, you may soon find your knowledge becoming increasingly obsolete. The only way to advance with time is to keep learning and empowering yourself, which will lay the foundation for creating values. As an ancient Chinese proverb goes, “if an active young learner is like the rising sun, then a middle-aged learner is like the sun at noon, and an elderly learner is like a bright candle.” Last year, Mr. Xu Yuanchong, a well-revered and beloved translator and professor at PKU, passed away at the age of 100. How did he spend his last day? He read and studied at home until 5 a.m., and passed away peacefully in sleep at 7:40 a.m. At the age of 98, Prof. Xu translated 1,000 words every day; at the age of 99, he wrote 1000 words for his autobiography every day. He kept writing in his final days. He said that staying up all night for work was like “stealing a few hours from the night to make up for the losing time during the day.” Dear students, I hope that you will make learning a lifelong pursuit and habit, and learn from books, practices and people. Remember, textbooks are not the only wellspring of wisdom, but also applying what you have learned in practice is essential in matching actions to your knowledge.
Third, I hope that you can accelerate your “life engine” to the maximum speed, and keep up the good work with integrity and perseverance. People of my generation have all read a book called How the Steel was Tempered, and you may have heard a very famous quote from this book— “A person's life should be spent in this way: looking back on the past, he will not regret for wasting his time, nor will he be ashamed for being mediocre”. To those who are going to continue their studies, you should now be more aware that time on campus is precious and fleeting. Cherish them and double up the efforts. To those who choose to start their own business in the fields of technology where China is still facing bottlenecks, you need to know that the road of entrepreneurship may be lonely. Only if you stay true to the spirit of independence in the hustle and bustle, and prioritize dreams over short-lived success, can you make accomplishments. To those who choose to serve as civil servants in local governments, be mindful that the stability of a country relies on the governance of counties. You have an honorable mission and please always be faithful to it. No matter what position you are going to assume, I hope that you will continue to stride forward regardless of the setbacks, and resist the temptation of immediate gratifications. Even the most unassuming job is not without merits. You can always climb high, but don’t forget the valley from whence you came. History only favors those who are determined, diligent and aspiring. It will not wait for those who are hesitant, sluggish or fearful of challenges. As long as you keep up the good work with integrity and perseverance, you can all create values in your chosen field, and lead a splendid career and life.
President Xi Jinping said, “working hard is the brightest color of youth, and taking actions is the best trial for young people. Responsibilities and commitment are what make the youthful years shine.” Dear students, whether you can cope with changes, be brave enough to make breakthroughs, or strive for innovation will determine how which level you can reach in life and affect the future of the country and the nation. Every small step you take on the road of innovation will converge into a powerful impetus for mass entrepreneurship and creativity. Just as “the wind is born from the land and springs up in the tips of the green duckweed”, I hope that you will make continuous efforts with enormous courage that supports you to stand up to obstacles. In this way, you will become a person who creates incremental values.
PKUSZ will always be your home, and you are welcome to come back any time!