Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) is a public university founded in the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone of China.
SUSTech offers an unparalleled learning and research experience at the scientific and technological frontiers.
SUSTech offers unprecedented opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to work alongside the faculty to explore and tackle both fundamental and practical problems.
The Global Engagement Office (GEO) is responsible for forming and implementing a coherent strategy to promote the University’s international development and global profile.
The undergraduate admission of SUSTech adopts comprehensive evaluation enrollment mode based on national college entrance examination.The graduate admission of SUSTech currently adopts joint training mode.
The main duties of SUSTCEF is to accept the donations from the domestic and foreign associations, enterprises, trading companies and individuals, and establish the funding projects depending on the demands of the university and the wishes of the donors.
Even though the skies were a little grey, and rain drizzled down throughout the morning of Friday the 13th, but for hundreds of students, it would prove to be one of the happiest days of their lives. Southern University of Science and Technology’s (SUSTech’s) 2018 Commencement Ceremony took place at 8:30 a.m. in the Green Pine Stadium under the watchful eyes of University Council Chairperson Guo Yurong, University President Chen Shiyi, Honored Guest and President of Westlake University Shi Yigong, Honored Guest and Vice President of Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT) Deng Xuemei, and former party secretary Li Ming. Other guests included senior university management, academic committee and evaluation members, heads of departments, business representatives, university patrons and renowned local entrepreneurs. They were all here to acknowledge the efforts of the 2018 graduates and their tutors, who were joined by their parents, along with current students.
Before the ceremony started, four proud students carried the flags of the four original residential colleges aloft and continued on the tradition of leading the procession of officials, teachers, and students into the commencement ceremony. With music leading them in, and everybody warm with their applause, students were quick to take their seats in the center of proceedings. It was not all smiles, as the student-made graduation video played as they filed in, with students tearing up at some of the scenes, realizing that this part of their lives was over. Even then, the stadium was full of applause at the memories that students have filled themselves with over the last four years.
Vice President Li Fengliang hosted the ceremony and invited everyone to stand for the national anthem. The rousing rendition of “The March of the Volunteers” filled the stadium, after which Li Fengliang introduced all our special guests. He was followed by Vice President Tang Tao, who announced that 547 undergraduate degrees would be awarded in 2018, along with 159 master’s degrees, that were being jointly awarded with the Harbin Institute of Technology.
University Council Chairperson Guo Yurong then declared who the ten outstanding graduates of 2018 were, and invited them onstage to receive their honors. Huang Rongpeng, Chen Wanli, Jiang Haoyue, Zhong Benxing, Yu Sicen, Ye Qiao, Wang Siting, Song Libo, Guo Tianzi and Ouyang Wenkai all joined their tutors onstage to receive their awards and photographs. This was followed by the top ten postgraduate students. All students then presented their tutors with flowers and acknowledgments of the work they have provided over the years of work done at SUSTech.
2018 Undergraduate Student Representative Guo Tianzi spoke on behalf of those students graduating today. First, she talked about why she chose to attend SUSTech in the first place. Next, Tianzi reflected on her entrepreneurial dream and looked back on her experience of turning a failed academic research project into the foundation of her own fluorophosgene nanotechnology company. With a prospering business to run on a daily basis nowadays, Guo Tianzi thanked SUSTech for encouraging diversity and creativity, which was the reason why she believed in herself and worked hard to make her dream come true.
At the conclusion of Guo Yanzi’s speech, she presented President Chen with a glazed glass tripod, requesting that he accept the gift on behalf of the university and the graduates’ best wishes.
She was followed by 2018 Graduate Student Representative Zhong Yaqi, who spoke warmly about his memories at SUSTech. As a master’s student of the Department of Biology, she spoke poetically about her personal growth and development at SUSTech over the last two years. She went on to say that her schoolmates had plenty of high-quality academic resources to work with but are always willing to take the opportunity to innovate in other fields of life.
Chair Professor Yao Xin from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering then took the stage to share some wise words. He said that SUSTechers had defined SUSTech with their every word and action, and the graduates had added another glorious page to the history of SUSTech. He hoped that the students would continue to love themselves, love their lives, and never cease to pursue their real passion. They should always keep a high spirit, positive attitude, and an inclusive mindset.
The tension in the stadium grew dramatically as the guest of honor reached the podium. President of Westlake University Shi Yigong is thought to be a controversial figure, having renounced his US citizenship in 2011 and more recently, departing Tsinghua University’s School of Life Sciences to launch the brand-new Westlake Institute of Advanced Study, the non-profit research institute in Hangzhou that will soon fall within the ambit of Westlake University. President Shi aims to turn it into China’s first private research university, and based on his remarks today; there is no doubt he could succeed.
Acknowledging his colleague President Chen, Shi Yigong first congratulated on the most crucial turning point of their lives, and the opening of a new chapter in their lives. He went on to introduce the creation of Westlake University and the founding process, comparing the similarity of it to that of SUSTech. He pointed out that SUSTech was a pioneer of higher education reform, and hoped that it could collaborate with Westlake University in the future. President Shi Yigong expressed his belief that reform, innovation, and entrepreneurship are the distinctive marks left by SUSTech on graduates, and this is due to the student’s choice made four years earlier. The students took the brave road to give up other traditionally well-known universities and choose SUSTech to explore and follow their dreams. He told the graduates that whatever challenges may face them in the future, they should always keep their original passion and maintain the courage to overcome their difficulties with a smile.
Following Shi Yigong was Vice President Ding Xuemei from Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT). She delivered a speech on the SUSTech-HIT joint graduate program and its first graduates. Ding Xuemei said: “I’m was honored to witness this special moment that belongs to both SUSTech and each individual student. Both universities have many similarities: we are science and technology-oriented institutions and share the same educational ideals, to name but a few. The graduation of the first students from our joint program marks the beginning of their beautiful journey on the world stage. I hope they can be independent, confident, adventurous, innovative, inclusive, patriotic, hard-working, and contribute to the further development of China with their academic expertise.”
As President Chen Shiyi was introduced to the stage, the crowd enthusiastically applauded him as he came to the podium. After congratulating on the achievement of the 547 undergraduates and 159 graduate students, he looked back on his first experience with the class of 2018 students, the growth of SUSTech in the past four years, and the graduating students’ achievements along the way. He continued on to say that “the class of 2018 graduates has inherited the typical ‘SUSTech characters’ such as solid basic knowledge, real practical skills, strong social responsibility, and advanced global vision” and that “they are a crucial factor that leads SUSTech on a fast track of development.”
By talking about his research focus fluid mechanics, the 40th anniversary of China’s economic reform, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area, the Belt and Road Initiative, the 2018 World Cup, the anti-globalism trend, global conservatism, global populism, and trade protectionism, Chen Shiyi illustrated the world is full of uncertainty right now and taught students how to deal with such uncertainty. Chen told the graduates that the technological development and advancement of the times were rooted in the curiosity to discover the unknown. He hoped that SUSTech had equipped students with the ability to handle uncertainty and to use it to their advantage. He urged the graduating students to be determined, calm, positive, inclusive and ambitious and reminded them always to improve their lifelong learning and problem-solving skills.
President Chen’s speech was received with enthusiastic accolades from the crowd. At this point, the awarding ceremony commenced. President Chen congratulated every graduate personally before handing them their diploma.
President Chen personally congratulates each graduate before handing them their certificate, with some graduates overcome with emotion. Camera flashes filled the air with excited parents, professors and students full of pride for their children, students and friends.
As the music rang out over the stadium, everyone joined in, sending tingles through every person present in a spectacular chorus. All the graduates returned to the stage for a group photo and the traditional cap toss, an excellent way to end the ceremony.
Original Text: Liu Hui & Fan Yining
Translation & Adaptation : Chris Edwards, Fan Yining
Photos: Su Jiahui, Wang Kaiqiang & Zhang Xiaoyan