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Class of 2020 Commencement


The first ZJUI Commencement, for the Class of 2020, was held on May 30. The ceremonies celebrated the graduation and accomplishments of the first cohort of ZJUI students, and was held on the International Campus of Zhejiang University. In this unique year, ceremonies included in-person events for students and faculty, online events for parents and friends, and direct remote connection from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Professor WU Zhaohui, President of Zhejiang University, and Professor Robert J. Jones, Chancellor of UIUC, spoke to attendees. Professor YANG Wei, Chairman of the ZJUI International Advisory Board and Past President of ZJU, delivered a keynote speech. Professor HE Lianzhen, Vice President of Zhejiang University and Dean of the International Campus, Professor Andreas Cangellaris, Vice Chancellor and Provost of UIUC, and Professor YANG Huayong, academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, also attended the ceremony. Professor Wei Shyy, President of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and a member of the ZJUI International Advisory Board, gave the commencement address. Mr. CHEN Hang, alumnus of Zhejiang University and UIUC, inspired the students with his remarks about the future. CHEN Haonan, the representative student of class 2020, shared his four-year learning experience and feelings.

Professor WU Zhaohui congratulated ZJUI’s first cohort of students on successfully obtaining a UIUC degree. He pointed out that every student there had witnessed the joint progress of Zhejiang University and UIUC, and had participated from the beginning of this venture in its development. He charged them to carry out the hopes and expectations of the Institute. He conveyed his best wishes to the students, and congratulated them on their achievement and new status as UIUC graduates. He encouraged the students to change the world with their wide-ranging knowledge and present the world of globalized education with a positive face of their young generation. With their outstanding abilities and leadership, and the force of youth, they should contribute to the globalization of innovation and serve society with their all-round qualities, show their diligent and positive qualities, create a better future through strength of character, and realize the value of life. Graduating students are expected to be leaders in a new round of globalization, striving to be a bridge for educational cooperation, innovation linkage, mission sharing and cultural interaction, and leading successful lives in a rapidly changing future.

Professor Robert J. Jones congratulated the students on successfully completed their degrees. He commented that the cooperation between the two universities is not only a collaboration in higher education and engineering, but also is key to promoting technology innovation and social progress. Student in the first cohort of ZJUI graduates are a remarkable success story of international collaboration. Students will represent the distinguished traditions and excellence of both schools, become bold innovators, and change the world through their own efforts − while continuing to learn throughout their lives.

Professor YANG Wei praised ZJUI for establishing a highly independent operating and management framework, and also for integrating first-class engineering education resources from ZJU and UIUC. Unique characteristics of cross-convergence have been formed by this cooperation. Students should keep making groundbreaking efforts, show their humanitarian concern, and maintain a high sense of responsibility in their future lives.

Professor Shyy Wei congratulated the students for their accomplishments, for their innovative attitude, for their technological excellence, and for their global vision to become outstanding professionals. He gave the students three suggestions in his commencement remarks. First, to be optimistic but not opportunistic. Second, to know your strengths but accept your limits. Third, to stay resilient and to persevere through adversity. He reminded them how important these are to our shared global future.

The Commencement was witnessed by leaders and guests from the two universities, faculty, parents, and campus members. During the student procession, Professor HE Lianzhen, together with Professor FU Qiang, Vice Dean of International Campus, presented their certificates on behalf of UIUC. Following the procession, Professor Timothy Killeen, President of the University of Illinois, officially awarded UIUC degrees to the first cohort of ZJUI students. Professor LI Erping, Dean of ZJUI, presided over the ceremony.

The senior class included 28 students from eight provinces in China, majoring in either computer engineering or in electrical engineering. The students participated in a second commencement in June at which they received their ZJU degrees. 

ZJUI is a non-independent Chinese-foreign cooperative institute established jointly by Zhejiang University and by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. It was approved by the Ministry of Education in February 2016 and started classes in September 2016. It offers the educational system and teaching resources of top programs from the Grainger College of Engineering at UIUC and integrates the advantages of corresponding departments of Zhejiang University. There are four undergraduate programs: electrical engineering, computer engineering, mechanical engineering, and civil engineering. Undergraduates who meet the degree requirements of both universities obtain bachelor’s degrees from Zhejiang University and from UIUC.

Article  |  KE Yinegn

Photo  | LU Shaoqing

Translator | CHANG Long

Editor | ZHU Xinran