Commencement 2022: ECNU graduates look to the future


June 21, ECNU hosted the commencement of the Class of 2022 on the two campuses, attended by over 7,000 ECNU graduates both physically or virtually.

As the graduates are to leave the campuses for a new life, ECNU President and Academician Qian Xuhong delivered a speech titled “Follow your dreams, embrace simplicity in life, and build a better world in the new era”, to guide the graduates in such important themes on society, the times, and the world.

 President Qian Xuhong

“Amid the lingering pandemic and regional conflicts, we choose to celebrate the graduation of the class of 2022 on the summer solstice, in the hope of dispelling the gloom of disasters with smiles, awakening the light of hope in everyone’s heart, and illuminating the path toward a new era,” noted by President Qian.

Living in a world of unprecedented changes and growing uncertainties, the graduates, President Qian hoped, will learn to respond to challenges, crises, and even turmoil in a proactive manner, and even more, draw wisdom, confidence, and strength from the road taken. “I have great confidence in you. I believe you all, as active participants of the world, will show extraordinary wisdom, courage, and resilience, just as you have done in fighting against the pandemic. We believe you all, equipped with professional competence, will find your niche and stay focused on what you pursue. I believe each one of you, as the master of your life, will not only find your way but also help people around you find the right path, thus bringing hope to the world and fulfilling dreams for humanity.”

Citing the “baton of history” as a metaphor, he elaborated on his expectation of the character of the young generation fighting the epidemic and encouraged them to move on. Holding the “baton of history” in your hands, young people like you are expected to draw wisdom and spiritual power from history to gain insights into the future and cope with present challenges; let “Greatness in simplicity and naturalness”, a pearl of philosophical wisdom from an ancient Chinese sage, guide your life path; remember that a true saint is an ordinary person with an open mind, a sound personality, an optimistic attitude, and a kind heart. I hope you can join hands to engage the world and cope with it with the quantum thinking, which excels in dealing with uncertainties, and create a better future of endless possibilities, he noted.

Cheng Ya, a faculty representative, Dean of School of Physics and Electronic Science, and Director of the State Key Laboratory of Precision Spectroscopy (SKLPS), expressed his high expectations for the graduates of 2022 and hoped that they would have a noble character and superior expertise and keep improving themselves after graduation. He fully recognized the resilience of the graduates in pursuing further education and finding a job despite difficulties. “I am much impressed by the bravery of our faculty and students in fighting against difficulties, as Hemingway once said, the world hits every one of us hard, but afterward many will emerge stronger at the broken places.”

 Cheng Ya

As an alumni representative, Mr. Ding Zuyu, an undergraduate alumnus of the Department of Real Estate of the Class of 1994, a Ph.D. alumnus of World Economics of class 2010, and CEO of E-House (China) Enterprise Holdings, praised the sense of responsibility of the graduates as they braved challenges to act as volunteers during the epidemic in serving the university, the community, and the public. “With such a special experience, I hope you have light in the eyes and the heart, and cherish a feeling of tolerance and compassion for humanity”, he added.

 Ding Zuyu

Mr. Wang Weisong, an alumnus of the Department of Chinese Language and Literature of class 1985, and Party Secretary and Vice Chairman of the Shanghai Federation of Social Science Associations (SFSSA), met the alumni virtually. Starting with remarks on Lu Yao’s novel The Ordinary World, he pointed out that there may be opportunities and possibilities for a breakthrough at such a particularly challenging time right now. “In the future, you may encounter more complex, tougher, and even stranger challenges, which require you to employ the knowledge and logic you learned in the university to make the most logical and reasonable choice. While university education encompasses a variety of noble goals, for most of us, the university is a place to build a reservoir of common sense and humanity.”

 Wang Weisong

Li Liying, a Class of 2022 Ph.D. graduate of the School of Computer Science and Technology, narrated her growth story: how she came to ECNU nine years ago as a young girl and grew up with the instruction and care of the teachers. Here at ECNU, she found her way and realized her dreams after entering a broader spiritual world. She believes that with dreams, drive, and resilience, one can have infinite possibilities.

 Li Liying

At the ceremony, outstanding honors and awards were handed out to 894 excellent graduates and to teachers selected by the students as the best teachers of 2022.

The ceremony culminated in the chorus singing Into the Sea with a large screen strikingly displaying the headshots of all graduates.

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

In addition, a series of other activities were held in conjunction with the graduation ceremony, including a graduation party on the evening of June 21.

Congratulations, Class of 2022!

Author: Tian Bolan

Photo by:  Xu Duo, Shao Xingren, Lv Anqi, Xu Yutong, Shao Zhuang, Wang Yuhao

Copy editor: Philip Nash

Editor: Wicky Xu


East China Normal University