The Welcoming Address of the Second Graduation Ceremony delivered by Professor Yangsheng Xu
Members of the Governing Board, students, parents, honorable guests, ladies and gentlemen,
On behalf of The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen, I would like to extend my warmest welcome to all of you. Today we have the Graduation Ceremony for the class of 2017. First of all, I would like to express my heartfelt congratulations to all the graduates and your parents, families, and friends. Congratulations on completing your graduate studies and starting a new journey in life. At the same time, I’d like to express my sincere thanks to our guests, especially to Prof. Myron Scholes. This is the first graduate ceremony held in the newly established campus, and it is your presence that has graced our campus.
Dear students, you are graduating today, meaning that your journey as post-graduates has come to an end. From now on, you will embark on a new journey and enter a new stage of your life. I am so happy for you, and I am proud of you. I am like a father seeing my daughters and sons off, for you are leaving me today to live independently. Before parting, I want to offer you some advice.
First of all, I hope you understand that graduation is not the end of learning/knowledge pursuit. Instead, it’s a brand new start. Quoting from Confucius, “Even in a village with ten households, there must be people as loyal and faithful as me, but they are not as studious as me”, from this you could see, he valued the importance of learning. Your study at school is temporary and limited, which is not enough to help you establish a robust and complete knowledge system for life or equip you with a broad horizon, especially in this era of knowledge explosion, with new things constantly emerging. Only with the ability of independent and lifelong learning, curiosity and exploration at different fields, can you expand or rebuild your knowledge system in the future and be capable of managing the demands and challenges in the society.
Second, I hope you understand that whether you could make a successful transition from the ivory tower to the real world depends on whether you could become needed people. We are now in an era of sharing, if you want to capitalize on other people’s resources, you should become resourceful yourself. Tomorrow, you will walk out the school gate, to get a job, to start a career. You will be pursuing success and self-actualization. We always hope to become leaders young. However, I would like to suggest that the core of leadership is to serve. The ability to lead is actually the ability “to better serve people”. If we focus only on our own ability and the so-called leadership, without notice that the purpose to develop ability is to improve people’s wellbeing and benefit the society, then we are putting the cart before the horse. Therefore, I hope our students, instead of being aggressive and arrogant leaders, to be humble and sincere, to serve your kind and the society, and achieve self-actualization while doing so.
Last but not least, I hope you understand that life is not all roses. As teachers and parents, we always wish you a smooth life. However, that's not the reality. Instead, twists and turns are the hard facts of life. Everyone, successful or not, will encounter discouraging adversities in life. You might wonder why some people make greater achievements. And I think their secret is never be set back by failures and hardships. Life is a long journey. I hope you would view and plan your life with a long-term perspective. When you put failures at the moment in a broader scope, you would find that they are actually trivial. As experience, they would only enrich your life, bring you lessons and at the same time inspirations, and become valuable treasures of your life.
Dear students, I hope my suggestions would be of your help. Lastly, my best wishes again to all of our graduates. I wish all of you a bright future and a happy life. Thank you.
(This content is partly translated by Li Haiyan from The School of Humanities and Social Science of The Chinese Unviersity of Hong Kong, Shenzhen)