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"There Should Always Be a Sun in Our Heart" | Dean's remarks at PHBS 2020 Comencement
2020-06-08 16:26:40
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Dear students, professors and friends:

Good afternoon! Today is a day worth remembering forever. In a very special historical period, we overcame various difficulties and gathered here to hold a unique graduation ceremony.

First of all, on behalf of all the faculty and staff members of Peking University HSBC Business School, I would like to congratulate 319 full-time postgraduate students (including 30 international students), 139 MBA students and 102 EMBA students on completing their studies and graduating successfully! I would like to express my warm congratulations and sincere respect to the parents who nurtured them and the relatives and friends who accompanied them to study!

At the same time, on behalf of the PKU and PHBS, I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to the faculty and staff members who were dedicated to instructing the students. Here, I would also like to especially congratulate our full-time postgraduate students on achieving an initial employment rate of 94.5% in this extremely difficult economic situation! This data far exceeds the level of peer institutions. And it fully proves the importance of PHBS' emphasis on theoretical knowledge, adherence to teaching quality, and stress on ideal and responsibility.

At this moment every year, we will gather together grandly and congratulate students on completing the graduate study and obtaining a master's degree through your hard work. In the past two or three years, for most students, it is the last time for campus life in their lives and the last opportunity to be able to focus on your mind, systematically study, and buried yourself in research. For full-time students, the graduation ceremony is a dividing line. Across it, you will formally set sail and enter a new stage of life. For part-time students, the graduation ceremony is also a new starting line, which means you have made new achievements in your life and started a new journey when you crossed it.

Therefore, every year’s graduation ceremony is very important for you. It is not only a solemn ceremony representing the completion of school study but the last lesson before you leave the school. Many of the speeches at the graduation ceremony have become an inspiring and moving poem and enduring famous sayings. At today's graduation ceremony, as the dean, on behalf of the college, I congratulate you, send you off, and send you a farewell speech as you embark on a new journey. At today's ceremony, as the Dean of the school, on behalf of PHBS, I congratulate you, send you off, and deliver my farewell speech as you embark on a new journey.

As we all know, this year's graduation ceremony is held in a very special and unforgettable period. We have just experienced the worst epidemic in the country's recent 70 years. After several months of closed isolation, we have not fully returned to normal. We need to wear masks and keep our distance during the ceremony. COVID-19 is still rampant around the world, with a cumulative diagnosis of more than 6 million people and nearly 400,000 deaths. The epidemic has not only severely affected China's economy, brought about the largest negative growth since the reform and opening up, but also made the worst impact on the global economy and society in nearly a century. At the same time, ideological and political interference, the deterioration of Sino-U.S. relations and the consequent gradual decoupling of the economy, the world is undergoing serious polarization and confrontation. If it is said that last year students faced an uncertain world, then this year's graduates will face a definite situation of world economic recession and international political opposition. Of course, this situation is not eternal, but it is indeed a reality that we need courage and wisdom to face.

Facing the epidemic, the disaster, the difficulties, and the challenges, a song recorded by PHBS students from all over the world brought warmth, courage and hope to everyone. The students wrote: "although we are set apart thousands of miles away and can't see each other because of the epidemic, we still have the power to sing the song. We all feel hot and cold, and spend the winter and spring in the world... I hope that people all over the world can welcome the sun as soon as possible.”

Faced with epidemics, disasters, difficulties and challenges, why do we look forward to the sun?

We look forward to sunlight, because it symbolizes the brightness. People usually regard fairness, justice, democracy, freedom, peace, progress, health, happiness, etc. as "brightness", and discrimination, evil, autocracy, slavery, war, retrogression, plague, suffering, etc. as "darkness." Human history is a process of constantly defeating darkness and striving for brightness. No matter how great the difficulties are and how bleak the prospects will be, our goal of pursuing brightness through continuous reforms cannot be changed, and our efforts to achieve world peace and progress through greater openness cannot be abandoned. As PKUers who shoulder the responsibilities of national rejuvenation and social progress, we must not forget the culture and traditions of our university and strive for the brightness whenever and wherever we are.

We look forward to sunlight, because it is full of warmth. Everything grows on the warmth of the sun. The growth of people is also inseparable from the warmth given by families and friends. In the world, warmth is the care and love between people. When encountering difficulties and challenges, we need mutual encouragement and assistance among people and countries. We must not only be grateful for the help others have offered to us, but also help selflessly and regretlessly when others have difficulties. Use warmth to overcome coldness, use warmth to eliminate prejudice, use warmth to resist evil, and use warmth to promote cooperation. Warmth does not mean weakness, and coldness does not mean strength. In the face of complicated international situations, we must firmly believe in the power of the people and the warmth. We must not be afraid of hardships and never give up, give play to our respective advantages, and continue to promote the process of win-win cooperation for all countries in the world.

We look forward to sunlight, because it gives the energy. The sun sends energy to the earth all the time to breed the growth of all things in the world. Whether it is to overcome difficulties or achieve ideals, we need to have enough energy that will not be exhausted. Human life will not be smooth, the development of the cause will not be without setbacks, and the road of national rejuvenation will not be smooth. In the face of difficulties and setbacks, we need enough energy to strengthen confidence, move forward courageously, keep on carving, and persevere to the end. This huge and sustained energy must come from lofty goals and selfless ideals. Only in this way can we not be anxious about the current discomfort and not give up for the momentary setbacks. Without ideals and goals, there will be a lack of sustained energy and motivation, and you will not be able to go far in life. In the popular saying, “You can't survive three episodes in a teleplay.”

We look forward to the sun, because it heralds the hope. No matter how long the night is, no matter how dense the clouds are, the night will eventually pass, the haze will be gone, and the sun will shine on the earth. As the song sings, “the sun is always after the wind and rain, there is a clear sky on the dark cloud”. A sunny attitude and an optimistic state are the necessary conditions for success in overcoming difficulties. At the party in the early stage of the college, having faced with doubt and confusion, I recited the poem “Believe in the Future” composed by Shi Zhi in 1968: “when cobwebs relentlessly clog my stove, and when its dying smoke sighs for poverty, I will stubbornly dig out the disappointing ash and write with beautiful snowflakes: Believe in the Future.” “I point to the waves billowing in the distance. I want to be the sea that holds the sun in its palm. Take hold of the beautiful warm pen of the dawn. And write with a child-like hand: Believe in the Future.” 

Students, in the autumn of three or two years ago, you were full of ideals and passion. You came to Yanyuan in the South, from all over the world, studied hard at PHBS, experienced hardships and wrote a new chapter in your life. Today, you will bid farewell to PKU campus and start a new journey in life. The sudden epidemic has disrupted the lives of many people, and also made you face a messy and challenging world as soon as you leave the school. However, as Chairman Mao said, you are the "sun at eight or nine in the morning", full of vigor and hope! As farewell advice, I hope you will always “have a sun in your heart”, always full of warmth and strength, work hard, be optimistic, use wisdom and courage to disperse the mist, and bring sunshine to the world!