This year the HNC was proud to host three alumni from the graduating class of 1995: Qi Kezhan, Josh Perlman, and Helen Yang. Graduates, professors, staff and assembled friends and family clearly enjoyed the sincere and meaningful stories that the speakers shared of their life at the HNC and how connections made at the HNC transformed their lives and careers.
|Chinese Co-Director He Chengzhou|
|Josh Perlman delivering commencement address|
|Qi Kezhan delivering commencement address|
|Yang Zhong delivering congratulatory remarks|
Lyu Xiaoyu, a Chinese MAIS student, and Joaquin Matek, an American MAIS student, delivered remarks in their target language to their peers. These speeches were well received and enjoyed by students, as they highlighted some of the most memorable moments from this past year at the HNC.
Below is a transcript of Lyu Xiaoyu’s speech:
“Fellow classmates, professors, distinguished guests, good afternoon! I’m Xiaoyu, a graduating master’s student. I feel deeply honored to deliver this speech on behalf of the graduating class of 2017. I also feel honored yet bemused about the fact that I am speaking in front of my family in a language they don’t even understand. Does that mean I can say whatever I want?
In the past year, many of us have developed deep friendships. However, today is the day for us to bid farewell to people who will always have a place in our hearts. I always find it fascinating to recall the first time I met someone when the time comes to say goodbye. Do you still remember what your friends were like when you first met them in September 2016? What brought you together? Maybe it was a group presentation or that first assignment in your target language; maybe you were roommates getting used to each other’s quirks. Perhaps you connected at the Halloween party when every one was at their spookiest, or the New Year’s Eve Celebration at Zifeng tower where the guys were dressed like Wall Street elites and the ladies like Oscar nominees. I know I won’t forget the BBQ. Eli, Jake, and Carlos were super hot that day grilling food for us under the sun. I will definitely endorse you guys on LinkedIn as grill masters. In addition, we had some great teams representing the HNC: a basketball team that had the ladies screaming, a dragon boat team that would make Admiral Zheng He proud, and of course our laladui, aka cheer squad champs. You guys did an awesome job creating connections between every HNCer.
|Lyu Xiaoyu giving her speech|
of two semesters, we have experienced an upheaval in global affairs: a dramatic transition in the White House, a failed gambit by the Italian prime minister, an impeachment in South Korea straight out of a Korean drama, and a dark horse victory in France. Every time we rack our brains to write a paper on these issues, we are not simply finishing a task for a grade. Instead, during the writing process, we think deeply about these problems, gradually sharpening our perception of the world. Such a mindset is of great significance, because as Francis Bacon once said: “Studies pass into and influence manners.” What we have learned and experienced at the HNC will be internalized into our value systems and personalities.
Today is the day to say goodbye. No more of Margie’s singing or Taylor’s dancing, no more boxing classes with Corey or Korean lessons with Tim. No more of Professor PAT’s contagious laugh, or Professor Joe’s endless weekly posts. Each of us is both driver and passenger on the bus of life. For the past year, we pulled over at a stop called the HNC and invited other passengers to get on our bus. Now is the time for those passengers to get off and continue driving their own buses. However, this isn’t the only bus stop in the journey of life. We will definitely keep in touch, and maybe even catch a ride on each other’s buses again. That is why this ceremony is called a “commencement”, since it is not just an ending, but also the beginning of something new. Thank you!”
This was followed by Joaquin Matek’s speech:
|Joaquin Matek giving his speech|
|Co-Director Davies delivering closing remarks|
Finally, American Co-Director David Davies delivered closing remarks about the uniqueness of the Hopkins-Nanjing Center and the important educational work that we do here every year. The Co-Directors and the commencement speakers then walked up on stage and began to give out the certificates and diplomas.