GRADUATION DAY: ECNU’s Class of 2021 embraces new future


ECNU hosted the commencement of the Class of 2021 on June 16. The commencement was attended by more than 8,000 teachers and students on the Minhang Campus of ECNU. The ceremony was preceded by live coverage of the launch from China’s seventh manned spaceflight: Shenzhou-12.

The successful launch of the Shenzhou-12 spacecraft ignited the enthusiasm of the audience, who waved the national flags and cheered. Just as the rocket carries the hope of Chinese astronauts into space, so the graduates will embrace a greater future. Therefore, the class of 2021 earned the nickname: “Class of the Rocket”.

According to Yang Changli, Vice Chair of University Council, there were 8,114 ECNUers graduate from the university this year. Among them, 594 are PhD-holders, 3,849 MA-holders, and 3,671 BA-holders. Nearly one third of this year's graduates work in the field of education. More than 20% of them will continue their studies. 

At the ceremony, the outstanding honors and awards were handed out to 913 excellent graduates and four teachers were recognized by the students as the best teachers of 2021.

ECNU’s President Qian Xuhong gave the graduates “the last lesson”. He spoke about the unpredictability of post-graduation life and advised the graduates to seize whatever opportunities they might meet in the future. 

President Qian Xuhong

“You should not only act as the builders and leaders of the new civilization, but also be the creators and providers of new job opportunities for the public. You have to learn from your predecessors, focus on your dreams across boundaries and stand up to realize your dreams,” said President Qian.

President Qian also encouraged graduates to inherit the great love of ECNU. “Love in ECNU is to emphasize that ECNU is a place of great love. What we call ‘great love’ will provide solutions to happiness for every individual, every family and the country’s development.”

President Qian ended the speech by inviting all the graduates to come back “home” to celebrate the 70th anniversary of ECNU on October 16 this year.

Representatives of teachers, alumni and graduating students also delivered messages at the ceremony.

Professor Du Debin, Dean of the School of Urban and Regional Science, stressed the importance of learning geography because “the world is changeable, but geography remains unchanged”.

Professor Du Debin

Professor Nimazaxi, an alumnus of the 1983 class from the School of Computer Science and Technology, reflected on his experiences at ECNU by highlighting the profound impact ECNU has had on his life and urged all the graduates to forge ahead.

Professor Nimazaxi

Guan Yuanyuan, a graduate of the School of Life Sciences, thanked ECNU for the academic atmosphere it offers. She believes that this generation of students will be responsible for the mission of rejuvenating the country, but the future hinges upon individual efforts.

Guan Yuanyuan

Zhou Jie, a graduate of the School of Computer Science and Technology, said that ECNU is a magical place. It is the love from the university that enables me to face the difficulties of scientific research. I hope that the AI in future will not only have IQ, but also EQ, so that the love of ECNU can be transplanted in the heart of robots.

Zhou Jie

Anna, a Russian graduate from the History Department, said that looking back on her study and life in the past three years, she is most impressed by the university’s teachers and the friends she made along the way. Although we will embark on different life journeys after graduation, we have gained valuable knowledge and broadened our eyes in ECNU. All these will make us stronger and braver!


After the graduation ceremony, President Qian, dressed in the graduation robe, took photos with graduates.

The commencement was livestreamed worldwide, bringing together ECNUers from around the world for interaction and celebration.

In addition, a series of other activities were held in conjunction with the graduation ceremony, including a graduation party on the evening of June 16.

Congratulations, Class of 2021!

Author: Xu Xincheng

Copy Editor: Philip Nash, Joshua Mayfield

Editor: Li Mengjie


East China Normal University