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Our journey begins with the morning light——Wuhan University 2017 Graduation Ceremony
Author:Tang Yedan  Date:2017-06-30  Clicks:

It is 7:00 in the morning, usually a time when the whole campus was still in peace. But on this day, even before the first class began and the first round of school buses took off, thousands of youngsters wearing academic gowns had already arrived at the 9·12 Playground to prepare for the biggest moment of their life (thus far)—their graduation ceremony!

On June 22nd, the Wuhan University 2017 Graduation Ceremony was held at the 912 Playground in front of the administration building. President Dou Xian Kang, the chair of the University Council of Hanjin, Academician Li Deren, Zhang Lina, Zhu Yuxian, Professor Yu Kexun and so on, together with over 7000 graduates attended the ceremony. Accompanied by teachers, friends and families, this year’s new graduates accepted the reward for their final and greatest achievement on campus with joy and tears.

 

 

                            Marching with the WHU school flag       

 

Half an hour before the ceremony, the chairs in the 9·12 Playground were already taken by the graduates. An air of excitement spread in the crowd. Shen Yue, a bachelor graduate from WHU’s School of Journalism and Communication, started an impromptu interview session with the audience members.

“I am from Switzerland. This is the fifth year I’ve stayed in China, and studying in Wuhan University has been the most valuable experience of my life here.” said PERRITAZ Bruno Loïc, an international student whose Chinese name was Yizhou. To express his feelings for the Alma Mater, Yizhou said “I love you, Wuhan University” in seven different languages: Chinese, French, English, Italian, German, Japanese and Korean. The audience were all impressed by his mastery of languages. Yizhou himself, however, had mixed feelings at the moment. “I came to China when I was only 19. This campus has witnessed my growth and accomplishments. However, after today, I need to leave the university and the nation.” Despite sadness, he comforted himself and the graduates: “Wherever we are, we will always be the children of Wuhan University”.

 

 

International students at the graduation ceremony

 

The ceremony began at 8:00 AM sharp. President Dou Xiankang gave a heartfelt commencement address named Hope and Responsibility in front of the 2017 graduates. “Today is a grand festival for you all. This ceremony is a uniquely glorious moment for you all. We adapted a new form for this year’s ceremony in order to show our sincere care for students, and appreciation for their utmost respect for knowledge and academics”, said President Dou. This is the first year that Wuhan University has held its graduation ceremony on the 9·12 Playground, and all the graduates dressed up in their specially-designed academic gowns when attending the event. The whole ceremony was broadcasted live online, and was covered by thousands of media from all over the country.

 

An overlook of the ceremony on the 9·12 Playground

 

With touching words and sincerity, President Dou expressed his wishes and expectations to the new graduates: “Having soaked in the profound culture of Wuhan University for many years, I believe you have formed a unique ethos. Our young WHUers are always energetic, enthusiastic, warm-hearted and confident. From you, I can see the future of our nation. China is a country developing rapidly on the international stage, and many of our students have an open view of the world. I sincerely hope that you will bear the responsibility of national development, keep a heart full of the “Chinese dream” in your future journey, and one day you may make a difference for the world. ”

 

 

President Dou delivering a speech

 

Apart from the speeches made by the school president and student representatives, a special session was added to this year’s ceremony. 300 outstanding graduates received the honor of having their tassel turned by the “advisors group” on stage. “Turning the tassel” is a special tradition in the Chinese commencement party (shared also by other countries such as the United States), during which the professor will turn the tassel of a degree candidate’s academic cap from right to left, symbolizing their transition from students to graduates. In this year’s commencement, a group of 47 distinguished professors formed an “advisers group”, and those with excellent performance in their study will enjoy the pleasure of getting their tassel turned by the “advisers group” in front of the whole school.

 

When the lucky graduates were waiting in lines for their glorious moment, some could not hold back their excitement and started chattering in a low voice: “You are standing right in the middle of our line. It is likely that the president will turn the tassel for you!” “It is the first time for me to see so many famous experts and distinguished students together on stage. How I wish to be a member of them!” In the end, graduate Cao Yiliang stood in front of President Dou Xiankang. This special moment will always be a treasure in his memory.

 

 

The turning of the tassels!

 

Alumni Wang Yujue watched the whole commencement through a live broadcast. The familiar occasion made her reminisce on her old school days. Wang said, “I was so touched when the advisors turned the tassel for the graduates. This remarkable scene brings me back to my own commencement. I ‘envy’ the graduates who have the honor of having their tassels turned by the ‘advisors group’, but more deeply inside, I appreciate my Alma Mater for arranging such a memorable ceremony for the graduates.” In her eyes, no matter where the WHUers go, they can always share the pride and glory of their beloved school.

 

This year, a total number of 15049 students graduated from Wuhan University, including 7365 undergraduates, 6573 postgraduates and 1111 PhD graduates. The University Council awarded 762 undergraduates, 637 postgraduates and 208 PhD graduates who had outstanding academic performance or volunteered to work in remote regions with the title of “distinguished graduates”.

 

“Let’s look at the aerial camera and cheer: Happy graduation!” At the end of the ceremony, all graduates and their advisors stood up together, looked up into the sky, and smiled with joy and tears—This moment is now forever captured in a grand aerial graduation photo.

 

Photographic evidence of our brightest smiles

 

Photo by Shu Pei, Zhang Ran, Jin Xin

Edited by: Wu Siying, Edmund Wai Man Lai and Hu Sijia

 

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