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Dean's Speech at the Opening Ceremony for Freshmen of 2017

作者:管理员 | 时间:2017-9-7 | 点击:25

                          Opening Ceremony Speech for Freshmen of 2017

                                                    Tao Wenhao

                                                 6 September 2017

 

Boys and girls, faculty members, ladies and gentlemen,

        Good evening! My congratulations to you all on coming to the most beautiful campus in Asia, the valley university of BNUZ. Your presence has brought vigor and liveliness to our campus.

         During the transitional period from summer to autumn, weather is always changeable in Zhuhai. The city has been attacked by three typhoons in 12 days, with heavy rains, uprooted and leafless trees everywhere, which definitely caused certain trouble for your settling down on campus. Nevertheless, I hope your fatigue and anxiety on the trip to BNUZ has been entirely driven away by the beautiful environment of a new place far away from your hometown, which is your new home for the next four years or two years to come.

        Every year at this moment in September, I would be overjoyed and excited, full of hope and expectation, to meet the new family members of the school of foreign languages. I assume most of you have the same feelings as I do: excited and happy about the new things and filled with expectations of great changes in a new phase of life. Today you’ve made it here, which you should owe to the relentless efforts and hard work contributed by your teachers, parents and yourself in the past years. The moment now symbolizes an end as well as a new beginning to the next stage, signifying renewal as well as change. This is the time for you to walk into a new chapter in your life book, the time to explore and shape yourself, to make preparations for the construction of your future life. Welcome to the big family of our school! You’ve become the youngest members here. Some of you may be unfamiliar with our school, so I will start with the introduction to the School of Foreign Languages.

         The School of Foreign Languages, founded in June 2003, is comprised of 80 staff members, one of the largest schools of the university, of whom English, Japanese and Portuguese native teachers account for nearly 50%; 1/4 of those native teachers hold a PhD; 1/5 of Chinese teachers are pursuing a doctoral degree and 4/5 of Chinese teachers have the experience of studying or working overseas.

            The school aims to train first-rate interdisciplinary, independent English and Japanese professionals for Guangdong Province and the country at large. Since its foundation, the school has been constantly exploring every approach to fine-tune its school-running features. One of the features is the establishment of bilingual orientation. Up to now, we have English-French orientation, English-Portuguese orientation for the English majors and Japanese-English orientation for the Japanese majors. The other feature is that more courses targeting at training students’ practical abilities are incorporated into the curriculum for the third year and fourth year students, with a purpose of enhancing students’ practical skills before entering the job markets. Each year, more than 70% of graduates are employed by the educational institutions, by the government or by various companies. A good number of the graduates go to further studies in prestigious universities either overseas or at home. In 2016, the percentage of English majors for further studies reached 26%. Most of the universities they went for higher degrees are such first-class ones in the world as Edinburgh University, Cardiff University, Sydney University, Melbourne University, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Beijing International Studies University, to name just a few.

          Today symbolizes the starting point of your college life. Some of you may still be overwhelmed by the great joy of the success in the exam two months ago, feeling relieved and relaxed. Nevertheless, the past achievements only mean the past, which will never come back. Missions are waving towards us in the future. There is a long way for us to go. As dean of the school, I have some suggestions for you. Hopefully they will be helpful in the next coming four years or two years for the MA students and upgrading students.

          First, to learn to know yourself. Going to college is like going on a self-discovery journey, through which you detect your own interests, potential, talent, advantages and shortcomings. It is a process of defining oneself and shaping oneself. “You’ve got to find what you love” as it is often said. In our school and around the university, there is abundant number of experienced, innovative teachers, together with their enlightening lectures and frontier courses, diversified students activities, field work and internship which will help contribute to realizing and shaping yourself.

         Next, to maintain a sense of wonder and hunger for knowledge. I believe when Steve Jobs said: “stay hungry, stay foolish”, you echoed his insightful voice. A sense of wonder or curiosity has nothing to do with memorizing so-called standard answers to questions in tests; nor does it have to do with multiple choices in exams. A person possessing strong sense of curiosity should be like this: he/she probes into the outstanding works in different disciplines, seeking knowledge from the greatest people in history and transforming it into his own power. As a student of language, acquisition of language skills should never be your ultimate goal. You should develop a global vision, with cultures and human knowledge behind both languages, with the capability of introducing Chinese culture to the world. I hope you will make wonderful progress in the next four years in these fields.

        Thirdly, to make good friends. You are from different parts of the country, so each of you is distinct with regional cultures and different personality. I wish you could be inclusive, comprehending diversity and paying respect to each other and learning from your peers. We believe that everyone has something special from which you could learn.

        Last of all, I have a question for you and for myself? What can the School of Foreign Languages provide you with?

        For this question, I would answer in three words: freedom, character forming and maturity. Here in this school can we all come to one understanding in agreement? We will provide you with the freedom of thoughts and the opportunity of character development and by the time you graduate, you are a mature person of independent thinking and nice personality. The four years of university life is not just a time to study but also a time for the development and formation of your philosophy of life. Each of you in one day will suddenly come to a state that you are enlightened and understand yourself in a philosophical way. This day will surely come to you in the four years of the university life. I am looking forward to this special day of your own when you are a mature person of independent thinking and nice personality.

       Our school is a big family. I hope you can discover its beauty and warmth and the love for you. Ladies and gentlemen, learn to know yourself more, acquire full knowledge, have a strong mind and body and make friends with your mentors and students of same interests! We will spend the most unforgettable college time here with you and by the time you graduate, you are no more boys and girls, but really ladies and gentlemen.

Thank you!



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