Tsinghua University 110th Anniversary Ceremony held

Tsinghua University held its 110th anniversary ceremony at New Tsinghua Xuetang, on April 25. The theme of the anniversary celebration was “Strive for Excellence; Innovate for the Future.”

Chen Xu, Chairperson of the Tsinghua University Council, presided over the ceremony.

Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Tsinghua University and delivered an important speech on April 19, ahead of the university’s 110th anniversary. Xi highly affirmed its achievements over the past 110 years, and expressed his expectations for the development of China’s higher education and the building of world-class universities, and his hopes for teachers and students.

The attendees watched a video of President Xi Jinping's visit to Tsinghua University.

Xi’s visit and his important speech set the direction for the future development of Tsinghua and provided fundamental principles to adhere to and follow. All teachers and students of Tsinghua felt extremely excited and encouraged, Chen said.

Chen noted that Tsinghua University should follow Xi’s request, adhere to the construction of a world-class university with Chinese characteristics, be patriotic and dedicated, pursue excellence, and serve the country’s prosperity, national rejuvenation and the people's happiness.

Qiu Yong, the President of Tsinghua University, delivered a speech at the ceremony. Qiu recalled that Tsinghua was born in a time fraught with deep civil unrest and international aggression. Initially named Tsing Hua Imperial College at its founding 110 years ago, the school was devoted to the “cultivation of all-round talents and enhancing of national strength”. In the same year, the progressive movement Xinhai Revolution (also known as the 1911 Revolution) broke out, sending China on the path of progress and promoting Tsinghua to embark on the struggle of saving the country and empowering the country with high sense of historical mission.

In his speech, Qiu mentioned that time will honor Tsinghua University’s legacy. Over the past 110 years, Tsinghua people, who strive for self-improvement, have always put the interests of the country and people first. Of the 23 “Two Bombs, One Satellite Meritorious Award” laureates, 14 are Tsinghua alumni. “It’s our greatest pride and honor to build our country with our own hands, making solid contributions across the country for the rejuvenation of the motherland. At this very moment, let’s give our warm applause for all Tsinghua people who have devoted themselves to the motherland and the nation,” he said.

President Xi Jinping emphasized during his visit to Tsinghua that we must adhere to the goal of becoming a world-class university with Chinese characteristics and contribute to the prosperity of the country, the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and the well-being of the people. In this crucial stage full of strategic opportunities for China, which is also a key period for improving the quality of the education system, Tsinghua should seize opportunities to accelerate its development and achieve more accomplishments. “Strive for Excellence; Innovate for the Future.” With every opportunity being seized, Tsinghua will ride the upward trend to fulfill a university’s grand responsibilities to serve the country and the global community. New breakthroughs will be achieved to reach an ever-expanding landscape.

The character of Tsinghua after 110 years has become more composed and confident given new achievements in reform and development. With such a posture, Tsinghua will concentrate energy with confidence and at its own pace, and a composed attitude on valuable and meaningful task for the benefit of the long-run, Qiu said, adding that self-development is the grounding for the Tsinghua people’s spirit and innovation is their unwavering aspiration. To build up strength on its own, we must seek innovation, and self-development could be achieved only through innovation. At a new starting point, Tsinghua will fully raise its capability of running the university with more ambitions and boldness. Stepping into the future with confidence and calmness, Tsinghua will not fail its mission by chasing self-development and innovation.

Zheng Fuzhi, Vice Minister and a member of Leading Party Members' Group of Ministry of Education, extended his congratulations on the 110th anniversary of Tsinghua University, and spoke highly of its brilliant performance in the past 110 years. He also urged everyone to implement the important instructions of President Xi Jinping given in his visit to Tsinghua on April 19.

Zheng noted that this year marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China and the country has embarked on a new development stage, and hoped that Tsinghua will make unremitting efforts to continue as a world-class university to serve the nation and contribute more to realizing the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation and advancing the progress of human civilization.

By upholding the Party leadership and the guiding role of Marxism, Zheng underlined the importance of fostering character and civic virtue in higher education, and called for more efforts to equip China's youth with patriotism and global vision so as to be qualified to shoulder the mission of national rejuvenation.

He also required Tsinghua to put weight on basic research and independent innovation, and to promote innovation in the university management system and explore a new model of Sino-Foreign educational cooperation and exchange as a vital force in building China into a great power.

On behalf of the Municipal Government of Beijing, Xia Linmao, a member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Beijing Municipal Committee and Secretary of the Education Work Committee of the CPC Beijing Municipal Committee, extended his congratulations and tribute to Tsinghua University.

He noted that Tsinghua serves as a flagship of Chinese higher education. As a university in Beijing, Tsinghua University has always provided excellent service to the city’s development. It has integrated itself into the construction of "four centers", and has also evolved with the country, establishing fine traditions of patriotism, dedication and the pursuit of excellence and nurturing generations of outstanding talents.

Xia also expressed his hope that Tsinghua will continue to be a model in socialist education development with Chinese characteristics, as well as a front-runner in producing top-quality talents, so that it continues to inject scientific and technological impetus into China's economic and social development, and serve the country's development pattern of opening wider to the world.

On behalf of Chinese universities, Hao Ping, President of Peking University, extended his congratulations on Tsinghua’s 110th anniversary, spoke highly of Tsinghua’s achievements as one of the top universities in China, and praised Tsinghua for becoming the flagship of China’s education.

As the two universities have shared close exchanges and ties throughout their long histories, Hao recalled the tremendous days of collaboration with Tsinghua during the War of Resistance against Japanese aggression, and expressed his hopes of establishing more cooperation with Tsinghua, cultivating a new generation’s talents, setting moral standards, and promoting higher education and the growth of science and technology. His vision is to work together to build a more prosperous China through socialist modernization.

Stephen J Toope, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, affirmed Tsinghua’s contributions to China’s development in all aspects through education and East-West exchange, and expressed his hope that Tsinghua will continue to educate citizens – engaged citizens, curious citizens, even critical citizens.

Stressing the importance of universities and their cooperation, Toope said that “Universities have a key role in the creation, curation and communication of knowledge,” adding that they should harness the power of ideas to benefit different societies and serve as a space for people to engage in challenging conversations about the type of societies in which they wish to live. He also urged that universities like Tsinghua and Cambridge must think hard - and think together - about how they adapt to change.

Li Ting, a 1980 undergraduate from Tsinghua’s Department of Civil Engineering, delivered a speech as an alumni representative. He reviewed his career progress from a common technician to the chief engineer at Central-South Architectural Design Institute Co., Ltd (CSADI) and expressed his gratitude to the Tsinghua spirit for being the guiding force of his life and giving him a strong will and full confidence.

Li made a special mention of his experience in leading his company to fight COVID-19 in Wuhan. Li’s company received the order to build an 80,000 square meter Leishenshan Hospital within 12 days. A total of 38 anti-epidemic construction projects were completed within one month, and over 30,000 hospital beds were produced, making the impossible mission possible. Li said that what he did was to practice the spirit of Tsinghua, fulfill his duty, and realize the great mission of national rejuvenation.

Zhou Shuyun, recipient of the "May 4th Youth Medal", and Professor in the Department of Physics of Tsinghua, made a speech on behalf of the faculty.

Working in Tsinghua for nine years, Zhou's career has long been integrated with the development of the university. A teacher should be a role model for students in studying and working, and help them to acquire all-round development, she said.

Noting that the mission of the university is to expand the frontiers of scientific development and knowledge, the development of new materials and new physics is an important cornerstone of information technology and social development. Zhou hoped the experience that students have in overcoming the challenges in their scientific research and the joy they receive will illuminate their way forward.

Liu Zhizhen, a senior student of Tsinghua, majored in electrical Engineering. He shared his impressions of learning at Tsinghua, saying that its outstanding education system helped him grow into a talent with academic capabilities and a strong physique.

At Tsinghua, Liu pitched himself into targeted poverty alleviation in rural areas, and joined the mass pageantry during the celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. He said that he would continue to adhere to the university motto and make more contribution to the country’s development.

Guests attending the ceremony included representatives of relevant departments of central and state offices, provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities, and brother colleges and units, as well as entrepreneurs, middle school principals, people from all walks of life, representatives of international organizations, alumni and senior leaders at Tsinghua university, recipients of outstanding contribution awards, academicians, distinguished professors of arts, humanities and social sciences, and representatives of teachers and students.

Alumni, teachers and students and friends from around the world watched the conference online through the network platform.

Editors: Li Han, Guo Lili, Sangeet, Cassie, John Olbrich

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