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A special commencement: Class of 2020 returns to PKU

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pku.edu.cn | Updated: Sept 20, 2021

On Peking University’s 123rd anniversary, PKU held a special degree awarding ceremony for its 2020 graduates, most of whom missed out on their offline commencement ceremony in 2020 due to COVID-19. To celebrate their accomplishments, PKU has promised to host in-person degree-conferring ceremonies for them in 2021. Now the promise has been honored and the Class of 2020 are invited to return to the campus to attend the ceremony.

Distinguished guests attended the degree-awarding ceremony for Class of 2020

Zheng Jichun, executive deputy secretary of Beijing Municipal Educational Commission, PKU Council Chair Qiu Shuiping, PKU President Hao Ping and other distinguished guests were present. The Khoo Teck Puat Gymnasium, where the ceremony was hosted, was full of happy faces andreunited classmates. Vice President Gong Qihuang hosted the ceremony.

The ceremony began with a magic show performed by PKU alumnus Xin Guanjie. With his hands, four different poker patterns were turned into four Chinese characters “huān yíng huí jiā” (Welcome home), winning warm applause from the audience. The original song “zuì měi de xiāng yuē” (The most beautiful encounter) and a video following the performance highlighted the graduates’ remarkable moments at PKU, especially their dedication in the fight against COVID-19. The video also showed the graduates’ different job choices and their contributions to the society after graduation.

Following the video, Gong Qihuang announced the commencement of the degree-conferring ceremony for the Class of 2020. Dr. Zhang Yifan from PKU Hospital of Stomatology delivered the graduation speech on behalf of the graduates. She shared her triumph of completing a PhD despite the pandemic’s upheaval, and her experience overcoming challenges as a postdoctoral scholar after graduation. She then expressed her hope that all graduates will hold steadfast to their ideals, have a strong sense of responsibility and devote themselves to serving the society.

Zhang Yifan

Next, Professor Hu Zhenjiang from School of Electronics Engineering and Computer Science spoke on behalf of all the faculty members of the university.

He shared his three hopes for graduates: first, to pursue excellence in urgent research to spearhead China’s development; second, to become the best versions of themselves and to care about mankind while contributing to the global community; and third, to thoroughly grasp interdisciplinary methods in R&D to tackle the new challenges of tomorrow.

At the end, President Hao Ping delivered the closing speech. He mentioned that this special degree-conferring ceremony could be held thanks to the nationwide triumph against COVID-19 and recalled the heroic stories of post-90s generation of PKU front-line medics. Finally, he encouraged the graduates to become the Chinese youth of the new era, mobilize their strengths and potential to meet the needs of the times and of the people.

President Hao Ping delivered his speech

After the speech, President Hao officially awarded the degrees to the Class of 2020. The graduates stood to wear the school badge and sang the popular campus song “Yan Yuan Qing”. The event ended on a high note with the turning of the tassel ceremony.