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2021 Cohort attends the School Opening Ceremony

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pku.edu.cn | Updated: Sept 19, 2021

On September 10, Peking University held the school opening ceremony for the incoming freshmen at the Wu-si Sports Centre. This marked the inauguration of the 2021 cohort into the PKU family, as well as the beginning of a new semester for all students. The event was hosted by Gong Qihuang, vice president of PKU and dean of Graduate School.

A video was played at the beginning of the ceremony. The clips transitioned from displaying the history and mission of PKU to showing the arrival of the freshmen on the campus for the very first time. Footages of the freshmen’s joyful first week in school recapped their experiences during orientation and 2021 Cohort "First Run". The event then commenced with a flag-raising ceremony, with students and teachers participate in the singing of the national anthem.

Professor Gong welcomed the freshmen into PKU, stating that this is a significant year as the Communist Party of China (CPC) has recently celebrated its centennial anniversary. Students would be playing a prominent role in the transition between CPC’s first and second centuries. He also introduced the distinguished guests and the teachers who are present at the ceremony.

Gong Qihuang

Wang Yijin, the freshman representative and a student of the School of Marxism, gave a speech on behalf of the freshmen. As the opening ceremony coincided with Teachers’ Day, Wang wished all teachers a happy teachers’ day and expressed her gratitude for all her teacher’s guidance. As a student born after 2000, she believes that her generation has to stand firm in their beliefs while working for the common good of the country and the world.

Wang Yijin

As a representative of the incoming batch of postgraduate students, Kong Bangyan, a first-year doctoral student from the School of Pharmaceutical Science delivered a speech. He recounted his experience of giving first aid to someone in need on the train, and being part of the team, which researched methods of treating COVID-19. As the health of the people correlates with the wellbeing of the nation, Kong believes that it is his duty as a PKU medical student to serve the community with his medical expertise and strive for a better future for the country.

Kong Bangyan

Liu Ruochuan, professor of the School of Mathematical Science and a Boya Professor, represented the teachers in welcoming all the freshmen. He shared his experiences as both a teacher and student at PKU. He described the challenges that new students would face, including dealing with a myriad of choices and being perplexed with uncertainty. He encouraged the new students to acquaint themselves with their schoolmates who would become their friends as well as respectable competitors. Students could also reach out to their teachers who would offer them guidance to navigate their university life and career choices.

Liu Ruochuan

As a gesture of gratitude towards the teachers, the representatives of the freshmen cohort presented flowers to the teachers, and thanked them for their patience and contribution in shaping the students in PKU.

PKU President Hao Ping welcomed and congratulated all freshmen for becoming part of the PKU family, and wished all teachers a happy Teachers’ Day. He narrated the significance of PKU to CPC, and expressed that PKU would continue to uphold the duty of serving the nation. In a world fraught with uncertainty and impacted by COVID-19, students would need to know how to navigate the complexities through self-discovery and reflection. He prompted the students to “understand the times we live in and develop your creativity and adaptability especially since technology is developing rapidly”.

Hao emphasized that PKU will continue to be the world-class institution for international academia exchange, and pursue to develop their students holistically.

Hao Ping

Lastly, the ceremony concluded with the freshmen putting on their PKU school badges. School leaders pinned these badges onto the freshmen representatives as the mark of their official matriculation into PKU.