On September 10th, the official convocation ceremony was held for Schwarzman College, Tsinghua University, an innovative cross-cultural global leadership program, to welcome the inaugural class of 110 students from 31 countries. Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Barack Obama sent their congratulations to express their hopes and wishes for the students.
The convocation ceremony of Schwarzman College
As President Xi puts in the congratulatory letter, “On the occasion of the opening of Schwarzman College, Tsinghua University, I would like to express my sincere congratulations to you! Education connects us through the history and determines who we are today and who we will be in future, which is paramount force in promoting the human civilization. Today, the destiny of the world’s people are ever more connected than before which require the young generations of each country to foster the global vision and stronger sense of cooperation to strive together a better future for mankind. The educational exchanges between China and the United States play an important and active role in enhancing the mutual understanding and friendships of both nations, and promoting the development of Sino-US relationship. Both China and the United States should give full play to their potentials, in order to enhance quality of higher level communications and make the cooperation in the educational field the pioneer in the Sino-US cultural exchanges.”
As President Xi hoped, “Schwarzman College would progressively advance and innovate with its firm beliefs of education, to create an international platform for the cultivation of the world talents, by providing opportunities to learn for the young generation of all counties. This would help them better understand each other, broaden their horizons and communicate and learn from one another, which would serve the whole welfare of the entire world with their joint efforts. I would like to wish you success in your studies and that you’ll all be able to put into good use what you’ve learnt in the future.”
As President Obama said in the congratulatory letter, “In our increasingly interconnected world, the challenges the international world faces are more complex than ever before. And as a rising generation prepares to help to shape our future, it is important that we instill in them the same spirit of cooperation that drives our community of nations towards peace and progress. The United States and China have modeled that spirit for two centuries, and if we continue to strengthen the bonds of partnership and friendship between our two great peoples, I’m confident that our shared success would continue for centuries to come.”
Schwarzman College, Tsinghua University is aimed to cultivate the future global leaders who would promote the mutual understanding and cooperation of different cultures, which would fulfill the new centennial mission of Tsinghua University. To meet the ever-increasing need of new types of leaders in the world, Schwarzman College, Tsinghua University develops on the principle of “rooted in China with a global vision”, with the solid foundation of the comprehensive subjects of Tsinghua University, which helps prepare the top professors selected at home and abroad, to finely create a master program for “Global Leadership” in English with the Master’s degree for management.
Liu Yandong addresses the ceremony.
On behalf of the Chinese government, Liu Yandong, Vice Premier of the State Council of China, attended the convocation ceremony, and delivered the congratulatory message to the inaugural class of Schwarzman Scholars, Tsinghua University. She stressed, “Schwarzman College, Tsinghua University, as the crystallization of the cultural exchange and educational cooperation between China and the United States, shall conform to the requirements as stated in President Xi’s congratulatory letter towards the launching ceremony of Schwarzman College, Tsinghua University, to provide the world young talents with a global vision while studying in China which helps broaden their horizons with excellence, responsibilities and great potentials, contributing to the building of the common destiny of mankind while also promoting the welfare of all nations around the world.”
Liu Yandong emphasized, “Schwarzman College, Tsinghua University embraces the world young talents to provide them the academy of classical learning with an integration of knowledge learning, cultural cultivation and practice and experiences, with great resources of Tsinghua University to build an international platform for the cultivation of the world young leaders.” She hoped, “The inaugural class of students would treasure such a valuable learning opportunity, to study contemporary China in-depth, to inspire each other in mutual enlightenment of ideas and wisdom, to promote the cultural exchanges between China and the world, to cooperate and to practice tolerance, to face the challenges together for a win-win outcome, and to fulfill the mission of building a better future for mankind with peace, progress and prosperity.”
On the same day, Liu Yandong also met with Mr. Schwarzman, Chairman and CEO of Blackstone Group and Kevin Rudd, Former Australian Prime Minister and other foreign guests at the ceremony, saying that she hoped that they would continue to work to promote the cultural exchanges and educational cooperation between China and the world. Liu Yandong visited college facilities, and took photos with all the Schwarzman Scholars and some Chinese and foreign guests. Liu Yandong was accompanied by Chen Baosheng, Minister of Education, Zhou Ji, President of Chinese Academy of Engineering, Jiang Xiaojuan, Deputy Secretary of the State Council, Qiu Yong, President of Tsinghua University, and Chen Xu, Chairperson of Tsinghua University Council while Yang Bin, Vice President of Tsinghua University, hosted the convocation ceremony.
Mr. Schwarzman addresses the ceremony.
As Mr. Schwarzman pointed out at the ceremony, “a win-win relationship of mutual respect and understanding between China and the West is vital to continued global peace and prosperity. These scholars, and those who follow, will play an important role in fostering friendship, cooperation, and collaboration in our increasingly interconnected and constantly shrinking world.”
President Qiu Yong addresses the ceremony.
Qiu Yong, President of Tsinghua University first congratulated the inaugural class of Schwarzman Scholars on behalf of Tsinghua University. As he said, “Schwarzman College is aimed to cultivate the future leaders with global vision and strive to promote civilization and progress for mankind. The program has attracted great attention from the world since its official launch in 2013. Tsinghua University has been acknowledged as one of the most beautiful campuses in the world with its famously prized school motto of Self Discipline and Social Commitment. Self-Discipline means that we should work straightforward with positive beliefs and firm goals to transcend themselves all the time as the natural movements of the celestial bodies, for the persistence and perseverance would weather them through the bad times and the good times. Social commitment means we should practice tolerance like the generous earth embracing all things, to respect nature and other human beings, and to balance the whole world inside them. It is hoped that Schwarzman Scholars would foster the spirits of Self -Discipline and Social Commitment, as a solid cornerstone of their lives to become a real part of Tsinghua University community.”
Kevin Rudd, Former Australian Prime Minister, and David Li, Dean of Schwarzman College, addressed respectively at the ceremony. Kevin Rudd said, “The Schwarzman Scholars come to Tsinghua University in Beijing from all over the world, to study, live and work together. It is great opportunity as well as responsibility for all of you. It is hoped that students here would learn the true spirit of teamwork with great appreciation of differences and respects for multi-cultures, to become leaders for tomorrow.” As David Li said to the students, “It has been three weeks since your registration, and I am delighted to make the observations that you are all forming the spirits of Schwarzman Scholars: understanding, cooperation and leadership which are the core genes of the college.”
Kevin Rudd and David Li address respectively at the ceremony.
Michelle Obama, (First Lady of the US), John Kerry, (US Secretary of State), Henry Kissinger, (Former U.S. Secretary of State), Kofi Annan, (Former UN Secretary General), George Bush, (Former US President), Tony Blair, (Former British Prime Minister), Jim Yong Kim, (President of World Bank), Mark Zuckerberg, (Founder and CEO of Facebook), Novak Djokovic, (famous Serbian tennis star), together with other world leaders, sent their congratulations on the opening of Schwarzman College, Tsinghua University.
student representatives of Schwarzman Scholars address the ceremony.
The student representatives of Schwarzman Scholars are Huang Cheng from China, Noal Elbot from America and Akshay Shah from India. They all shared three different perspectives of where we were, where we are and where we will be. As Huang Cheng said, “Although we are brought up in different environments, we all care about economic development, the promotion of people’s welfare, the conservation of the environment and the education equality etc. which needs to be addressed for mankind, and we are committed to contribute our own efforts in addressing these issues. It is exactly such common grounds that we share on global development and common destiny for mankind that has bond us together here in Tsinghua University, to discuss, understand, and practice the wisdom and power of the young talents in today’s common destiny of the world community even though we come from different parts of the world.” Noal Elbot shared his own experiences and feelings about the life here in Schwarzman College, Tsinghua University. He said, “Schwarzman College has the best teachers and greatest opportunities which would further solidify the friendships among the students.”Akshay Shah said, “We all have a shared belief although we come from different cultural backgrounds. That is we need to contribute as much as we can if we crave for success.” As a Chinese saying goes, “An educated gentleman cannot but be resolute and broad-minded, for he has taken up a heavy responsibility and a long course.” At the ceremony, he led all the students to review the motto of the class, “As students of Schwarzman College, we have to foster the spirits of Self Discipline and Social Commitment, to study in China with a global vision, and to serve the society and contribute to the world.” He added, “The different past backgrounds make us come together to fully experience every opportunity from now on, to strengthen our friendships and increase our knowledge which would enable us to fulfill our dreams and aspirations by contributing to the society. ”
Huang Cheng, who addressed the ceremony, graduated from School of Economics and Management at Tsinghua University, and she once won Tsinghua University’s top scholarship. Following graduation, she went to Qinghai Province to be a volunteer for teaching programs. She added after the meeting, “I feel very fortunate to study here at Schwarzman College, and after graduation I would like to go back to study for a doctoral degree in Economics and Management at Tsinghua University, for I want to make further progress in academic researches, hence making my own contributions to the development of the Chinese enterprises through my efforts. During this time I would help other classmates understand more about Tsinghua University and Chinese culture as I am familiar with the campus.”
The Chinese and foreign guests at the meeting
The guests present at the ceremony today included Max Baucus, (US Ambassador to China); Latif Gandilou, (Ambassador of Azerbaijan); Doru Costea, (Romania Ambassador to China); and other officials from the embassies of Australia, Britain, Zimbabwe, Japan, Switzerland, Singapore, Columbia, Mexico, Kazakhstan and other countries; Leszek Borysiewicz, (President of University of Cambridge); Peter Salovey, (President of Yale University); John Hood, (Chairman of the Rhodes Trust); Bundhit Eua-arporn, (President of Chulalongkorn University in Thailand); Mohammed Alhammadi, (President of the United Arab Emirates University in Arabia) and other distinguished guests from world renowned institutions of higher education, presidents and academic experts from other universities of Asian University Alliance; Pan Gongsheng, (Deputy Governor of the People's Bank of China and Director General of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange); John Thornton, (Chairman of the Brookings Institution); Wang Dazhong, (Former President of Tsinghua University); Gu Binglin, (Former President of Tsinghua University), and Shi Zongkai,(Vice Chairperson of Tsinghua University Council) etc..
Under the guidance of Tsinghua University’s Graduate School, Schwarzman College has followed a strict admissions procedure for the first cohort of 110 students of the program, which aimed at objectively evaluating the students in their intelligence, academic abilities, leadership potentials, personality advantages, their abilities to predict the cutting-edge trends and their willingness to understand other cultures, points of views and standings etc..
The exterior of the Schwarzman College, Tsinghua University
Schwarzman College, Tsinghua University is a modernized residential college, designed by Stern Robert, Dean of the School of Architecture of Yale University, which is the most advanced higher education facility in China and one of the most advanced worldwide. As an academic community, the college attracted a batch of students from all over the world with their passions, openness, observation and creativity. It is to promote cross-cultural understanding and create new ideas along with the formation of new codes for conducts and judgments, by the strengthened communication and interaction among the students of their diversified backgrounds, worldviews and academic interests, which would serve as the most influential educational experience in their lives.