From Ivana, a Tsinghua student from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Professors, fellow graduates, friends, ladies and gentlemen,
It is an honor for me to deliver this speech on behalf of the graduating students, and welcome you to this special Commencement Ceremony 2020.
This is a unique moment. We are stepping up to another phase of our lives at a time of great hardship and global difficulties. Tsinghua keeps in mind its global family, and hopes this ceremony will help erase sad memories, refresh beautiful ones and add more splendid memories into our lives.
Each of us have different stories to share, of amazing life experiences and challenges. Please allow me to briefly share with you the course of my journey which has made of me what I am today.
I was born in the middle of war, which caused my family to move to Serbia as refugees for three years. When the war ended, we returned to Bosnia where I was unfortunately raised by a single parent. My mother, who is and will ever be my heroine, was the only figure who guided me, provided for me and kept me on the right track, in the hope of a better life. I owed her so much as she is solely responsible for a huge part of my success. I will always remember her teachings, “to complain less and always find solutions at the price of whatever it takes”, which brought me to China, an ancient land of new hopes.
During the COVID-19 outbreak, I got the best opportunity to understand China. I saw millions of people united with one goal – to win the battle against this epidemic. I have never seen such a collective dedication from a nation, turning things for the better by sacrificing personal convenience on a grand scale. China’s governance and health care system proves to be one of the most efficient in the world. With a population of 1.4 billion, China not only has successfully controlled the transmission of the coronavirus but also assisted many other countries across the globe.
Everyone has a role to play in the battle against the virus. In Tsinghua, I played a tiny but necessary role: Staying on campus, studying online, cooperating during temperature checks and respecting social distancing measures. The rules and initiatives set by the university and Chinese government had everyone’s health and safety as first priority. This made me feel safe and confident that China was on the right track towards victory.
Throughout this time, despite the immense challenges, Tsinghua has facilitated many online conferences and webinars, which helped me nurture more skills in my field of study. This helped me secure a job offer in Shenzhen which I am sure will lead to further growth and professional development.
Over the past year, I have made many friends. Besides my fellow students, the faculty and staff from my school, and the administrative teams of the university. I was actively engaged in searching international connections in the healthcare industry, first for China and later on for my country. Thanks to the network I built through my department in particular and Tsinghua in general, I was able to organize donation of personal protective equipment for my country.
Every graduating student has their own unique experiences and stories, but I believe we all have had a rewarding experience in Tsinghua. I would very much like to extend my personal as well the collective gratitude from graduating students to Tsinghua University, to the Chinese government, and to this great civilization with the wisdom of Self-discipline and social commitment.
Friends, we are now graduating from one of the world’s most prestigious universities. Tsinghua has been like a mother to us over the past months and years, guiding and nurturing us along the way, providing us with great vision and placing on us high expectations. So what comes next? Actions speak louder than words. Let us accept new challenges, think beyond our limits and keep in mind the ethics of life. Let’s undertake everything we can for the sake of unity, humanity and the international community. Let’s work together for a more promising future and prosperous world.
We will not let you down, Tsinghua, our forever alma mater!
Fellow graduates of Class 2020, please accept my warm congratulations. I wish you all the best in your future prospects and endeavors.