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海闻教授在UIC第13届毕业典礼上的致辞

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President Tang, distinguished guests, teachers, parents, and students,

For over 45 years, I have been part of a university in China and America. But this is the first time in my life that I have been given the honour to speak at another university’s commencement. I am grateful to President Tang for this very special experience. I feel just as excited as the graduates today.

As the founding Dean of Peking University HSBC Business School, I have always said that China needs a world-class business school. But equally, I believe that China needs first-rate liberal arts colleges to turn out innovative thinkers for the new age. UIC has made a name for itself as a centre of excellence in liberal arts education, setting a fine example for the rest of China.

UIC and my Business School share a few things in common: First, we are both located in the Greater Bay Area, with a foothold in the future in this great country and this innovative century.

We also share something else: we both have a vibrant global subculture, bringing the best of East and West to our students.

Today, you are receiving your diploma, and I heartily congratulate you on this proud achievement. It would be a mistake, however, to think that graduation means the completion of your education. In fact, it is just the beginning of a new stage of learning.

On your graduation day, some of you may never have asked yourselves these two questions: Who am I? And what do I want in my life? Long, long ago, Greek philosophers believed that wisdom began with self-knowledge. An educated person who doesn’t know himself or herself is a contradiction in terms.

I can say with confidence that finding your unique self is one of the smartest things to do in the age of AI or Artificial Intelligence. As AI takes over many aspects of our lives, the only safe jobs in the future are those that call for individual creativity. Truly creative people are not afraid to see things in their own way. In fact, your contribution to society may come from your being a unique individual with the ability to find uncommon solutions to common problems.

I don’t believe in the cookie-cutter approach to education. We are not producing McDonald's hamburgers. The most significant value of university education is in helping students to discover themselves and their true calling. In the university, we celebrate students’ uniqueness.

Self-knowledge is one thing, but to turn it into your strength, you also need to grow by learning throughout life. According to the late American educator John Dewey, growth is not just the key to personal excellence but also the secret to personal happiness.

Often those who succeed in life are not the ones with the highest GPA, but those who know what they want and prepare themselves accordingly to reach their goals. “Fortune favours the prepared.”

How do you grow as an individual? You grow by doing, by making mistakes, and by learning from them. In life, experience is the best teacher. Failure and growth go hand in hand. If you don’t fail at anything, you don’t succeed in anything.

So, my message for you is simple: you serve society best by knowing yourself well and turning this self-knowledge into a social and economic asset.

We are defined by what we do. As you leave school today, live a full and active life, for all of us only live once. Be a planner, yes. But be a doer too.

Once again, congratulations to the graduates of 2021. Good luck to you all.

1F043



最后更新:2020-07-01
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