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A Letter to the First Cohort of ZJUI


Dear ZJUI class of 2020 students,


At the time of writing, we are looking through four years of delightful photographs that you have left us. How time flies! We still remember the anticipation on your faces when you were registering at the Residential College in September, 2016. We also remember the carefully sealed notes you wrote to yourselves that were placed in the time capsule. As your graduation ceremonies take place, have the wishes you made four years ago come true?


We believe we have fulfilled our primary goal. More of you are going on to graduate study in world-class universities than other Chinese-foreign cooperatively run schools. You have shown outstanding ability in academic endeavors, international communication, innovation, independent thinking, and community service. In the past four years, as pioneers of ZJUI and of the International Campus, you have participated in the rapid development of the Institute. The enrollment numbers are expanding year by year, the faculty team is growing, the teaching quality is constantly improving,  international education is progressing, and cross-disciplinary learning continues to develop. This progress could not have been achieved without your tremendous efforts and commitment to ZJUI. We are proud of you!



On May 30, you received your UIUC degree certificates, signed by the leaders of the two universities. At the end of June, you will receive your degree certificates and graduation certificates from Zhejiang University. These certificates confirm your hard work in the laboratory, the classroom, and the Residential College, your rigor in building and debugging your designs, your care in polishing your papers and reports, and your confidence in further study. We salute your outstanding achievements in different fields. To name just a few, think about Huang Jinghan’s two conference papers published in IROS and ICRMV; Xu Chao,s presentation as a guest speaker at the 3rd International Student Leaders Forum; Chen Haonan, Wu Zhenbang, Li Heyuan, Wu Xihang, and other students supporting  education in Meitan in Guizhou province and in “Belt and Road” countries; and your experiences in Urbana, during internships, and in research. There are many amazing stories. We are very happy for all of you!


In addition to congratulating you on all your achievements, we want to share three pieces of advice with you and wish you great success in the future.


First, embrace uncertainty and move forward with optimism. 2020 is a special year. We have encountered many unexpected difficulties, but this is a reflection of life, and there will be more such unknowns and uncertainties in the future. Please be prepared at all times to face life’s challenges with optimism and composure.


Second, continue to think independently and pursue excellence through innovation. The global engineering challenges of the 21st century require engineering leaders with an international perspective who can promote cross-disciplinary cooperation and contribute to breakthroughs.  Have the confidence to be a leader in your future endeavors.


Third, throughout your career, follow your conscience and be kind to others.  Although it is easy to be confused by the temptations of the wider world after leaving the ivory tower of the university, remember to respect society and life, and live up to your responsibilities. This is how engineers will make a positive impact to help the world.


We sincerely wish everyone a safe, healthy, challenging, and successful career. Live in the future, seek new knowledge, and always innovate!


Yours sincerely;


ZJUI Dean          ZJUI Executive Dean

Erping Li          Philip T. Krein