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Peking University 2015 Commencement

Peking University, Aug. 1, 2015: July 14th witnessed the commencement and the degree ceremony of the 2015 undergraduates at the Peking University Gymnasium, where 3035 undergraduates bade farewell to their past 4 years and started a new phase of life. 

The ceremony was hosted by Ye Jingyi, vice chairman of Peking University Council. PKU Council Chairman Zhu Shanlu, PKU President Lin Jianhua and other college leaders attended the ceremony. Professor Tong Tanjun from School of Basic Medical Sciences (also CAS member), Professor Wen Lan from School of Mathematical Sciences (also CAS member), Zhao Wenquan, President and CEO of BlueFocus and honorary trustee of PKU, Professor Rao Yi from School of Life Sciences, alumni representatives who graduated 30/50 years ago, scholarship donator representatives and relatives and friends of the graduates were also invited. 

A retrospective video marked the beginning of the ceremony, in which many iconic landmarks, activities and other elements pieced up a sparkling memory of the past 4-year time. What followed is a poem “Forever Campus” read by two elder professors and two young graduates. The lines “the soul of Peking University, the soul of China germinate right here, the campus is forever” were repeated with exuberant emotion, recalling a strong sense of mission from everyone’s heart. 

One of the sweet moments of the ceremony was the reunion of the old and new graduates. Alumni representatives who have graduated for 30/50 years kept their promise with PKU, came back regardless of their old age, and congratulated the younger generation.

After a commendation of the Outstanding Graduates were the valedictory orations. The first was delivered by Wang Qingcan, 2011 undergraduate from School of Mathematical Sciences. On behalf of the graduates, he focused his speech on the true, the good and the beautiful of PKU, and hoped that every graduate would take the responsibility to build a better nation. The following was the wishes from Professor Rao Yi from School of Life Sciences on behalf of all the professors. From a biological perspective, Rao’s speech entitled “To Be a Man respected by Yourself” argued that everyone’s existence in the world is a miracle, and thus the graduates should always keep the human dignity and overcome the temptations and hardship in society. Later, as the representative of the alumni, Zhao Wenquan, President and CEO of the BlueFocus, talked about the chivalrous spirit in the new era. He offered three suggestions to the graduate: always remember the initial determinations, keep working hard and cherish the friendship. 

Last was the oration by Professor Lin Jianhua, President of PKU. He first congratulated the students for their graduation and wished them a bright future. Afterwards, he shared the life stories of three PKU alumni Fan Jinshi, Zhang Yitang and Lv Zhi through a micro movie made by himself, encouraging the graduates to pursue their dreams, keep their promises and devote themselves to great deeds.

At the end of the ceremony, all the graduates stood up and sang the anthem of PKU with tearful smile. The 4-year undergraduate life came to an official termination. When the curtain falls, a brighter outlook is certain to appear ahead of it. 

On July 15, 2015 Peking University graduate commencement and degree ceremony was held in the Khoo Teck Puat Gymnasium. Party secretary Zhu Shanlu, President Lin Jianhua and other school leaders attended the ceremony. Many members of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, representatives of professors and alumni were also invited to attend the commencement. The commencement was presided over by executive vice president Ke Yang. 

At the beginning of the ceremony, graduates of 2015 expressed their feelings and thoughts through a short video. Then with accompaniment, two graduates and teacher representatives passionately recited the classic poem by Xie Mian titled “The Forever Campus” to honor the memory of their days of youth in Yan Garden. When the anthem had been played, the commencement officially started. 

Then executive vice president Liu Wei declared that this year Peking University would confer 1635 doctoral and 5914 master’s degrees. Follow this, Zhu Shanlu read the recognition decision of 2015 excellent graduate students. Zhao Tiekai, from the Department of Chinese Language and Literature as representative of 2015 graduates, gave a speech. He mentioned how much they appreciated the education they received here and it was Peking University that taught them to “learn from books, practice and life”. Besides, he, on behalf of all the graduates, committed to do utmost to live up to the high expectations of alma mater. After that, the tutor representative Yao Yang and the alumni representative Guo Zhengtang also made speeches. They first expressed their sincere to all of the graduating students then further exhorted the graduates to forever keep in mind their senses of mission and social responsibilities so as to escort the future development of China.

Afterwards, Lin Jianhua delivered a speech entitled “Keep Positive Innovation to Lead the Future”. He congratulated all the graduate students on their graduation and made a special video for them. He said, “PKU is more than a university; it is a totem in people’s mind entrusted with the future and hopes of the nation…PKU is a spiritual homeland for truth seekers and dream runners… PKU is an everlasting riddle to which everyone who lives and studies here will find their own answers in the shared experience.”

Finally, all teachers and students sang the song “The Love for Yan Garden” together. Hopefully, all the graduates of 2015 will become the pillars of tomorrow and lead the future of China. 

Written by: Jin Panzhu, Wang Qian
Edited by: Choisum Kwok