Commencement for the Class of 2020 grandly held

On the afternoon of July 1, 2020, the Commencement for Class of 2020 of the School of Political Science & International Relations (SPSIR) was grandly held in Lecture Hall C201 of the Sino-French Center. Tongji Distinguished Professor Men Honghua, Dean of SPSIR, delivered a speech. Professor Xu Hong, Secretary of the Party Committee, Associate Dean Zhong Zhenming, Professor Qiu Huafei, Director of the Academic Committee, Li Bin, Tongji Distinguished Professor and Deputy Director of the Academic Committee, Associate Professor Sun Ming, Assistant to the Dean and Head of the Department of Sociology, Professor Sun Lei, Head of the Department of Political Science, Professor Tian Liang, Professor Shao Chunxia, Professor Wang Chuanxing, Professor Song Lilei, Associate Professor Zhong Xiaohua, Associate Professor Ge Tianren, Assistant Professor Chung Young-june, Assistant Professor Liu Xiaoyang, Assistant Professor Li Boying and other teachers were present at the ceremony, which was moderated by Song Bo, Deputy Secretary of the Party Committee.

At the beginning of the ceremony, Dean Men delivered a speech to all the Class of 2020 graduates. He said that due to the special circumstances of COVID-19, this ceremony is the only one without parents’ presence over the past eleven years since the founding of the school. He called for thanking the parents for their nurturing, caring and understanding. Thanks to the parents, the students were given the warmest harbor in the midst of the pandemic, and the most beautiful memories on campus, which can comfort them in their adult life. Dean Men emphasized that when the world is experiencing the profound changes unseen in a century and China is ushering in a critical moment for national rejuvenation, he would like to send the best wishes to all the students about to graduate, wishing them to stride ahead despite all difficulties including the pandemic and display their talent on a new stage!

Dean Men noted that the Communist Party of China turns 99 years old today. Over the past 99 years,the CPC has gone through the storm and brought to China and the world a rainbow in the new era! To look at China against a global backdrop, we see the progress of the country and the needs of the world, and get a better understanding of the sentence from the Tao Te Ching: "the effect will be seen in the person, by the observation of different cases; in the family; in the neighborhood; in the state; and in the kingdom." The boundless love contained in it endows us with the treasure of profound philosophy, and boosts our confidence in China's rising to be a leader in promoting strategic cooperation and healthy competition! The profound changes unseen in a century and the pandemic have given the Class of 2020 graduates a unique experience. They are able to gain insights and confidence from life experience like this. Finally, Dean Men sincerely wished all students to be fearless and invincible in their life journey. He also expected them to keep their original aspiration and a global vision in mind and always pursue excellence.

Then, Associate Professor Zhong Zhenming announced the list of outstanding graduates, the list of scientific research excellence awards, and the list of innovation and practice awards. Dean Men and Secretary Xu presented awards to the winners.

Liu Xinyuan, the undergraduatevaledictorian, expressed her most sincere gratitude to the teachers, relatives and friends for their guidance, accompany and help, as well as people from all walks of life for guaranteeing the study and life of the graduating students during the pandemic. Liu is also a freshman representative speaking four years ago, and in retrospect she shared one of her deepest feelings: staying positive at all times. The four years in university have brought her not only knowledge, but also the courage to face different difficulties in future life. Four years of study and life experience have taught her the meaning of moving towards the goal and acting early. Standing on today’s stage, she wants to be a reliable and passionate young person and to realize the big dream of being brilliant in life. She is eager to make her contribution to the development and prosperity of the motherland, with the commitment of "growing with the motherland and benefiting the society and world with science and education". Graduation is not the end, but a brand new start.

Li Punan, the postgraduate valedictorian, said that as an "extraordinary" class of graduates, they are loved and protected by the families who are always around, by the university and the school who care about them from afar, by the schoolmates who encourage each other online, and by countless volunteers fighting against the pandemic in the front line. Over the past ten years, the school has become a joyful place crammed with graduation photos. The rising wave will eventually flow into the sea, with the recognition and expectations of their seniors, with the spirit of Tongji (standing together rain or shine), and with the spirit of our school (bringing benefit to the world). The graduates will set sail bravely and ride the waves, she believed.

Associate Professor Zhong Xiaohua at the Department of Sociology, the teacher representative, noted that this is a unique ceremony for her, a teacher who has attended many commencement ceremonies. At the time of parting, she would like to share three words with the graduates: health, boundary and resilience. The first is health. Students have the responsibility to rethink how to contribute to social health under the premise of ensuring individual health. The second is boundary. The pandemic has made us strongly feel the existence of boundary again. Therefore, whenever we hear that responsible young people break the boundaries to help those in need, we will have a stronger longing for a global community of shared future. The third is resilience. In the midst of the pandemic, we should learn to identify risks, cope with changes, eliminate interference, turn crises into opportunities, stand up to external disturbance, and gradually become a person of resilience. Finally, she wished all the graduates, equipped with the humanistic care, the commitment to the country, and a global vision, to navigate in a risky society, create value on the boundaries, and use today’s knowledge to make valuable wealth in the future. Set sail for a bright future!

After Zhong’s speech, student representatives Wu Fan, Ji Mo and Chen Sisi presented commemorative gifts to the school on behalf of undergraduates and postgraduates in the Class of 2020.

Professor Qiu Huafei and Professor Li Bin awarded the alumni contact certificates to Wu Fan, Ji Mo and Sun Qiyu, respectively.

The ceremony culminated in Dean Men turning the tassel and awarding the graduation certificate, and Secretary Xu presenting souvenirs to the graduates.

After the ceremony, the leaders and teachers present took a group photo with the graduates.

We wish the Class of 2020 graduates a happy graduation and a bright future!