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Graduation of ECNU's Class of 2024 - a new journey begins!


Amidst the applause and cheers of proud families and friends, ECNU held its annual graduation ceremony on June 20, marking the culmination of years of hard work and dedication for the Class of 2024.

The graduation ceremony was co-hosted by Yuan Xiang, a professor from the State Key Laboratory of Precision Spectroscopy, and Zhou Yujie, a 2024 postgraduate student from the School of Communication.

As the graduates embark on a new journey in life, Academician Qian Xuhong, president of ECNU, delivered a speech to congratulate the graduates on their accomplishments at ECNU. He also reminded them of the impact they could make in the world after graduation. Qian emphasized that since 2023, AI technologies, represented by large models and generative artificial intelligence, have been sweeping the globe, revolutionizing human society with unprecedented speed, breadth, and depth, presenting both opportunities and challenges to every individual. Qian discussed with the graduates how to keep pace with the times in an era of AI, which he offered as a parting message to the ECNU Class of 2024.

Qian Xuhong, president of ECNU

According to Gu Hongliang, vice president of ECNU, there were 9,048 ECNUers graduating from the university this year,including 5,314 postgraduates and 3,734 undergraduates. 

Gu Hongliang, vice president of ECNU

At the graduation ceremony, 508 outstanding graduates from Shanghai and 1,020 outstanding graduates from the university were commended as university leaders presented awards to representatives of outstanding graduates. 

Mei Bing, chair of the university council, presented the award to the "Best Teachers of 2023".

The ceremony also featured inspiring speeches from distinguished alumni, faculty members and student representatives, who shared their own experiences and words of wisdom with the graduating class. Their stories resonated with the graduates, reminding them of the challenges they have overcome and the opportunities that lie ahead.

Prof. Yang Yanning, dean of the School of Foreign Languages, delivered a moving farewell speech as a representative of the teachers. He quoted a Latin proverb, “Per Aspera Ad Astra” (Through hardship to the stars), to encourage graduates to explore their own stars with the knowledge and strength accumulated at ECNU.

Xi Nanhua, an alumnus representative who graduated from the Basic Mathematics Master’s Program in 1982 and the Doctoral Program in 1985 at ECNU sent his best wishes and expectations to the graduates.

“Purity and the right direction can help you achieve stability and long-term progress on your life journey.” Xi Nanhua used his experiences to illustrate that as a person, it is more important to pursue one’s inner interests and standards for continuous self-surpassing, rather than distorting one’s soul in comparison and competition with peers.

Qiu Boran, an undergraduate graduate from the School of Ecological and Environmental Sciences,  summarized his four-year study at ECNU with three keywords: dedication, perseverance, and confidence. He devoted himself to diversified competitions to promote his personal growth, persevered in scientific exploration in the lab, and developed a graceful and confident mindset to face the uncertain world and era after four years of university education. He urged graduates, “Dedicate yourself, persevere, and keep confident. Be a more powerful adult and a more charming child! Meet a better self in the future!”

Wang Ziyan, a master’s graduate from the Faculty of Education, was awarded the title of 2023 Shanghai University Student of the Year. “My seven years at ECNU are built on love, which has laid the foundation for me to continuously explore my potential and bravely pursue my dreams,” Wang Ziyan said. Coming from a family of traditional Chinese medicine practitioners, Wang was inspired by her surroundings and aspired to be a person who benefits society. Therefore, she chose the major of education and rehabilitation to help autistic patients better integrate into society through the combination of medicine and education. Motivated by her major, she actively participated in public welfare services, working hard to help autistic individuals find employment with her professional knowledge and enthusiasm. She eventually designed personalized employment support plans for autistic groups, helping more than 60 autistic individuals become self-reliant. Wang Ziyan expressed her gratitude, saying, “I am grateful for the love of ECNU, which has led me to pursue excellence and bravely take on social responsibilities.”

Marie Jenny Helena, a graduate of the School of International Chinese Studies from Sweden, recounted her six years at ECNU, from a language student to an undergraduate, from a member of staff to the President of the International Student Union. She had served as a host of the International Cultural Festival, been in charge of the Swedish booth, and participated in dragon boat races, winning the championship. She sincerely thanked the teachers of her alma mater for everything they provided: “Not just education, but also trust and support, helping us to become better and more mature individuals.”

The ceremony concluded with a beautiful song, sung by the entire graduating class. As the song echoed through the campus, it was a fitting end to a day that marked the beginning of a new chapter in the lives of these young graduates.

Graduates hugged their families and friends, tears of joy streaming down their faces.They had achieved a goal that had seemed so far away when they first entered ECNU as freshmen. Now, they were ready to embark on the next phase of their lives, filled with promise and possibility.

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 20.


Author: Xu Xincheng

Copy editor:Josha, Philip

Editor: Wicky Xu