Forge Ahead with Indomitable Determination on a New Journey
Speech at the Graduation Ceremony and Conferment Ceremony of the 2022 Graduates
Dear faculties and students,
Today, we are gathered here to solemnly hold the graduation ceremony and conferment ceremony for the 2022 graduates, the 2775 undergraduates and 306 postgraduates, who have successfully completed their studies. On behalf of all the faculties and students, I would like to extend my warm congratulations to all 2022 graduates! And my sincere respect to all the teachers and parents for your care and support and for always being there for the students.
I know you must be looking forward to this graduation ceremony, where you will receive lots of blessings with the conferment. Today’s graduation ceremony is even more special. Some of the students are attending the ceremony on site and at the same time we meet virtually with you to see you off to a new journey with infinite blessings and expectations!
The past few years have been of great importance and symbolic significance. We have lived through landmark events in the history of our Party and country. In 2019, we celebrated the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China and in 2021, the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC). We have set out on a new journey of building a modern socialist country in all respects while eliminating extreme poverty, which is of epoch-making significance in the history of Chinese civilization. During this period, China has achieved a large number of major scientific and technological innovations, including the “Shenzhou” manned space mission, the network of China’s “Beidou” Navigation Satellite System, “Yutu” lunar exploration, “Zhurong rover probing Mars, the Xihe satellite chasing the sun, and “Haiyan” Underwater Glider, and China Sky Eye Space Patrol, continuously enhancing the comprehensive national strength with science and technology. All this has greatly enhanced the ambition and confidence of the Chinese people!
In the past few years, JISU has also been making great strides with each passing day, maintaining sound development and achieving one milestone after another. In 2018, it became the first private university approved as an authorized unit of conferring master’s degree and the first private college to be upgraded to university. In 2020, our university was selected into the ranks of high-level universities with characteristics in Jilin Province, further expanding school-running resources and development space. Since 2020, it has been ranked first among Chinese private educational institutions for social sciences on the Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s Academic Ranking of World Universities for three years in a row. At present, the university is implementing the development strategic plan for the next decade and has embarked on a new entrepreneurial journey for school development and accelerating the goal of becoming a leading non-profit international studies university that is application-oriented, thoroughly cosmopolitan, and yet distinctly and proudly Chinese. This is the shared dream of all JISUers and we are seeing this dream become reality. I believe that you are proud to be a JISUer..
Over the past few years, you have worked hard and received much in return. The complicated domestic situation and volatile international landscape, coupled with the COVID-19, have brought profound changes in the world pattern and domestic environment and also great impact on your life. Yet, you have adhered to the school motto of “be a good communicator and do things in a down-to-earth way” in overcoming the difficulties. While doing a good job in pandemic prevention and control, you’ve conscientiously completed your studies, maintained high spirits, and spared no effort to strive for the best. With firm belief and a great sense of mission, 549 students joined the Communist Party of China, 15 students won national scholarships and 112 students were admitted to graduate school, thanks to their hard work. You have won gold and silver awards in the National College Students’ English competition, “Challenge Cup” College Students’ Extracurricular Academic and Technological Works Competition, and won 293 provincial and national awards. I am glad to see you’re all ready to be volunteers. You have contributed your part in language services, ice and snow tourism, poverty alleviation and other fields. You have won many honors such as the national gold medal in the China Youth Volunteer Service project competition. Seven students, including Zhao Bingxue of the School of Education have contributed their part to serve the nation and the people. The students I mentioned are just the epitome of all our graduates. Your perseverance and dedication have created a brilliant chapter of university life in a special era!
Dear students, Graduation is not the end, but rather the beginning of a new journey. The next three decades will be the golden decades for you to strive for a brilliant life. It will also be the key period to build a powerful modern socialist country in an all-round way and accelerate the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. The convergence of golden journey of life and the key journey to strengthen the country offers you unprecedented opportunities and responsibilities. The progress and future of a nation depends on the young people.
Go chase your dreams and always remember that you are Chinese. You, the young people, are the soul of the country. Born in this great era, you should be concerned about national affairs, take the prosperity of the country and the happiness of the people as your own responsibility, aim high and strive for the best as lofty ideals and aspirations can give you great momentum. The most fortunate thing about youth is that one’s personal goals are in the same direction as the future of the country. More than 100 years ago, a group of young people of your age stepped forward to explore the road to national salvation. It’s the best of times and we need to continue to build on this achievement. Students, the baton of history has been passed onto you. I hope you will have firm ideals and persistent beliefs, and shoulder the responsibility of serving the motherland. The world is as big as your mind and heart. No matter what you do in the future, don't forget this belief and responsibility and do not let go of your ideal. I hope you will set up a lofty ideal, have faith, find the value of being, have principles, establish the ambition of making the country safe and prosperous, be dedicated to serving the country, and become a dream builder with a strong sense of mission. Let us work together for the dream, contribute to the dream and create miracles for the dream!
I hope you will answer the “question of the times” well and flourish into trailblazers with proper skills. The trajectory of history may seem chaotic, but in fact there are patterns to follow. Each generation of us faces a different environment, and we all have to answer the propositions of our own era and take on our own missions. The efforts of generation after generation have converged to become the torrent of history and ultimately the general trend of history. As the old Chinese sayings go, “A nine-storied tower rises from a heap of earth” and “The days of youth can be quickly gone, and it takes long time to achieve success in learning, so every second of every day cannot be easily let go.” Lifelong learning has become a realistic need to answer the “question of the times” in the face of the new era of accelerating knowledge update and the increasingly refined social division of labor, and constantly emerging new technologies, models and formats such as big data, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, blockchain technology. As the French writer Thomas Brown said, You can’t extend the length of your life, but can grasp its width; Unpredictable, and the extension of life, but can enrich the connotation of it; Unable to grasp the quantity of life, but can improve its quality.” When you enter the society, you must accurately grasp the general trend of the times, summon the courage to stand at the forefront of human development, identify your own position, and focus on answering the questions of the times. I hope that you will cherish your time, study hard, and think diligently. As Wang Chong, a great thinker in Eastern Han, remarked (25 AD - 220 AD), “High or low as our intelligence is, we need to understand things through constant learning”. Great dreams start from learning, and successful careers rely on skills. As the line from The Rites of Zhou, an ancient Chinese Classic, goes, “Instead of sitting back and pontificating, one is better to practice what you preach.” We must act upon the ideas of the unity of knowledge and action, in-depth practice, and being rigorous, pragmatic, and hardworking. As Zhuxi, an ancient Chinese philosopher, said, “You need to learn about everything whenever it is and wherever you go”. Only by doing so can you acquire “practical knowledge”, learn “proper skills”, master “hard skills”, and solve “key problems”. One who is filled with knowledge always behaves with elegance. I sincerely hope that you will always adhere to the academic spirit of “being strict, meticulous and scientific, and being pragmatic and refined in learning”. I also hope that you can stand the test of time, increase your talents, consolidate your foundations, and make unremitting efforts. As the line from Great Learning, a Confucian Classic, goes, if you can improve yourself in a day, do so each day, forever building on improvement. I hope that you will forge new paths, be at the forefront of innovation and creation, be the determined vanguards of the times to keep breaking new ground, and strive to make yourself useful talents and pillars for the development of China to contribute your wisdom and strength to the realization of the Chinese dream!
I hope you will bravely shoulder the “responsibility of youth” and be a strong fighter. It is the right time to forge ahead when you stand tall and see far.” “Working hard is the brightest color of youth, and taking actions is the best trial for young people.” No matter how the theme of the times changes, the keyword “strive” remains unchanged. The mission of national rejuvenation must be realized through striving, and so is the raising of the sail of the ideal of life. Striving is not only a catchy slogan, but also needs to show the spirit of “a-fine-horse-dashing-without-a-horse-whip self-initiative”. You have many choices ahead of you. The key is to guide your choices with the proper world outlook, outlook on life and values. If you choose to endure hardship, you choose to gain; if you choose to devote yourself, you choose to be noble. Life is not always smooth sailing. I hope that you will not retreat in the face of difficulties, not covet comfort, and not be afraid of hurdles. I hope that you will strengthen your ideological and moral cultivation, continuously foster noble characters, pay equal attention to both ability and integrity, persevere in pursuit of ideals, and demonstrate your character in doing well in every little thing, completing every task, and performing every duty. “All worthwhile accomplishments come with hardships.” Striving requires you to go through hardships without changing your original aspiration, to work hard in tough situations, and to temper yourself through trials and tribulations. “In one’s life, everything must be experienced by oneself; One can travel across the vast rivers and mountains and create a vast world step by step with perseverance.” Nietzsche said: “We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.” Each and every step we take in life counts, and it is the cornerstone and foreshadowing of the future. To strive is to stay focused; to strive is to persevere; to strive is to pursue excellence. Dear students，those who choose to strive choose success. The road of life ahead of you is still quite long. Youth is not a time of life, but a state of mind. You should stay persistent in the pursuit of dreams. I hope that you will always adhere to the code of conduct of “simple in being, practical in doing” and “Little things make big things happen.” I hope that you continue to carry forward the entrepreneurial spirit of “blazing a trail and soldering on” and leave your footprints on the land of China and realize the dream with accelerated pace so as to use youth to write a chapter worthy of the times!
Time and tide wait for no man. Mr. Li Dazhao, a pioneer of CPC, said: “The golden age is not behind us, but ahead of us; not in the past, but in the future!” Dear students, the sky of your life is boundless, and the wind of opportunities blows hard. In front of you is the powerful call of the times, and behind you is the infinite concern of your alma mater. The care from us will not end with graduation, and JISU will always have your back. No matter how faraway you are in the future, please remember that JISU will always be your home!
Dear students, it’s time for me to say goodbye for now. In conclusion, I wish you all to have your youth well spent, live up to your youth, embrace a bright future, and live a brilliant life!