Dear Mr. Steve Schwarzman,
Dear Vice President Yang Bin,
Distinguished Guests, Colleagues and Friends,
Today is a milestone for the second cohort of scholars at Schwarzman College. Dear scholars, we are gathered here to mark the completion of your studies and celebrate your graduation! We are proud of what you have done and where you will be. Congratulations!
On this occasion, on behalf of the College, I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to our faculty, staff, mentors, donors, parents and friends for your guidance, support and help. Thank you all!
Our scholars have achieved much over the course of this year and their dedication has come to fruition in many forms. Deep Dive visits organized by the College took our scholars to six cities in China, from the ancient city of Xi’an to the paradises of Suzhou and Hangzhou, from the first special economic zone, Shenzhen, to the newest one in Xiong’an. This provides a unique way for our scholars to both deepen their understanding of China and its culture and share in the spirit of China and its people.
Meanwhile, our scholars developed their global perspective through meeting and engaging with political and business leaders, government officials, Nobel Laureates, world-renowned scholars. Many activities and events, such as Africa Week and China Week, enabled our scholars to experience different cultures and to develop their leadership capacity.
Dear scholars, you will embark on new journeys with great aspirations, with determination and with confidence. Some of you are pursuing diplomatic careers; some of you are ready to serve your hometowns and some will go on to join international organizations and promote world peace. Looking ahead, I sincerely hope that all of you will grow into VIPs: V for values, I for inspiration and P for passion. I am confident all of you are fully capable to do so and will make profound impacts
Here, to further illustrate this new interpretation of VIP, I would like to share with you a true story. In 2005, Qin Yuefei was admitted to Yale University with a full scholarship after receiving a full score on his TOEFL exam. Six years later, he received two degrees, one in political science and one in economics at the age of 26. Right after graduation, he gave up opportunities to work in multinational companies on Wall Street, and instead came back to work in a remote mountain village in the province of Hunan, China.
After settling in the village, he mobilized various resources to develop programs for the public good. He helped villagers repair roads, dig irrigation canals, renovate seniors’ home, and improve school conditions. These measures have brought about substantial changes to the lives of local villagers. Sticking to his post in the village, he has contributed greatly to the livelihood and well-being of the villagers. When asked about the motivation of serving the village for six years, he replied simply, “Everyone wishes to pursue a better life. I want my villagers to fulfill this wish.” This is VALUE.
He launched a non-profit organization, Serve for China, with several partners, calling for more young scholars to join the course of poverty alleviation. The current team includes excellent graduates from top universities like Tsinghua, Peking, Yale and Harvard, and experts in rural construction with rich, first-hand experience. His story enlightens many young people on self-development. This is INSPIRATION.
His grassroots work experience was not untroubled. When he moved into the village, his habits and style of dress were out of tune with the locals; when he tried to implement programs, he had to raise funds all by himself. Despite the odds, he faced these troubles bravely and found solutions. This is PASSION.
Dear scholars, we are living in an era that calls for great spirits and visionary leaders. The motto of Tsinghua is “self-discipline and social commitment.” It is our responsibility to build a community of shared values that will advance world peace and development. Let us take on this great responsibility and make a difference!
Wherever you go, whatever you do, we are always together! One College, One Family, One Dream!
Congratulations, Class of 2018! I wish you all the success to become VIPs!
Wang Youqiang, Dean