Speech by Dean Men Honghua At the 2017 Commencement of the School of Political Science & International Relations, Tongji University
Time: 2021-08-22

Speech by Dean Men Honghua

At the 2017 Commencement of the School of Political Science & International Relations, Tongji University

Dear 2017 Graduates,

Fellow Teachers,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Time flies like a shuttle. Today, we are here together to hold the 2017 Commencement of the School of Political Science & International Relations (SPSIR) of Tongji University to bid farewell to the graduates who have successfully completed their studies and are about to embark on a new journey. On this solemn and unforgettable moment, I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to you on behalf of all the teachers and students of the School! Meanwhile, I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the families and teachers who have worked silently and selflessly to support your growth!

The School of Political Science & International Relations is our common homeland. The Great Learning says, "If you can in one day renovate yourself, do so from day to day. Yea, let there be daily renovation." Innovation and change is not only the necessity for personal growth, but also the cornerstone of School development. To build the logic governing the relationship between the personal growth of teachers and students and the development of our School is the principle and direction we have been adhered to. Since the establishment of the new leadership in October 2016, we have valued "openness, fairness and justice" during our governance. With the tenet of “building the School on sound institutions, prospering it through academic excellence, making it stronger through discipline development, and putting students first,” we are committed to both material and spiritual improvement as well as comprehensive reform and all-round development. On this basis, we are aiming to create a national teaching, research and consulting center for strategies, build an academic platform with great influence at home and abroad, and cultivate elites with a global vision, strategic thinking and a good knowledge of international affairs, national governance and social development. Under the guidance of this idea and goal, we have made progress in the teaching and research work:

First, standardize management and set rules first. Master Han Feizi said: "With a scale, one weighs objects of equal weight; and with a compass, one draws a perfect circle." Since October 2016, we have gone through standard procedures, which include drafting by leaders of specific duties, collective deliberation by the leading group, soliciting individual opinions, and passing resolution in party-administration joint meeting, etc., and established a series of rules and regulations in multiple aspects such as discussion and decision-making, consultation and implementation, daily management, and student development and management. Right before your graduation, we compiled them into a book entitledRules of the School of Political Science & International Relations of Tongji University, to lay the ground and point the direction for the development of the School.

Second, explore the way ahead and highlight the characteristics. In order to further consolidate the academic background and show the advantages of the disciplines, we at the School have gradually established a trend of focusing on major domestic and foreign issues related to national development and pursuing the coordinated development of political science, international relations and sociology. We aim to create a new height for China & World studies. To this end, we have organized various high-end forums and academic lectures to help our teachers and students appreciate their demeanor of the great masters and enjoy a feast of thoughts.

Third, put people first and becommitted to reform. The sense of belonging comes from comfort, and comfort depends on the complementarity of material and spirit. Entering 2017, we have fully renovated the working space to provide more efficient and effective services for our teachers and students. Our facility is no worse than that of any small yet beautiful schools of international relations in the world. Moreover, we have conducted systematic curriculum construction and activity planning to emphasize students' balanced development of professional competence, humanistic literacy and social responsibility.

The Book of Han says, "A truly noble and virtuous person is distinguished from its kind." Our School and students are both developing incessantly. It is due to the positive interactions between the two that the School showcases youthful vigor and a new prospect. Meanwhile, change is often driven by the timeless cultural heritage; and the progress made is inseparable from your support and participation. As a teacher and the dean, I'd like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to you. Thank you for choosing our School; thank you for your participation, dedication and diligence in the school affairs over the past few years; thank you for witnessing the progress and development of the School; and thank you for helping our teachers further understand that teaching benefits teacher and student alike!

On parting, I'd like to share the followingthree advices with you:

First, be kind and grateful. Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche wrote in Beyond Good and Evil, "A man of genius is unbearable, unless he possesses at least two things besides: gratitude and purity." To be kind is to have a hard core and to be grateful is to have a soft coat. In this world where cooperation and competition go hand in hand, only those who respect others while being kind to themselves can gain wisdom and friendship in cooperation and exchange, display exemplary conduct and nobility of character in competition and collaboration, and achieve mutual benefit and common progress.

Second, learn extensively, think profoundly, discriminate clearly and practice sincerely. Graduation does not mean the end of learning, but rather marks the beginning of a new round of learning. When you face a diversified world and a complex society, I hope you will be inclusive and open-minded to absorb positive nourishment, think deeply and comprehensively to deepen your self-cognition, adhere to the spirit of eliminating the false and retaining the true to tell right from wrong, and make unswerving efforts to realize the unity of knowledge and action, so as to create new knowledge, bring forth new technology and explore new areas.

Third, cultivate your moral self strictly and make a better world. I sincerely wish our students safe and sound and successful in career. As a teacher, what I expect most is, of course, you live a brilliant life! Young as you are, however, you will experience ups and downs in growth. Only in this way can you live a complete life. I hope you can keep in mind a saying by Sima Qian, “He who has an ambition but looks calm can be made a great general.” In solitude, I hope you will not get obsessed by trifles or give in to material desires, but keep improving yourself quietly and cultivating noble morality and simplicity. And in success, I hope you take the responsibility of building a better world for the people, carry forward the lofty conviction that "I will do whatever it takes to serve my country even at the cost of my own life, regardless of fortune or misfortune to myself", and realize personal values by contributing to social welfare and national development. Zuo Zongtang once said: "Aim high, follow the Doctrine of Mean, and live a simple life; have a long-term view, keep a low profile, and be lenient." Sharing with you these philosophical lines, I hope you will look far ahead and aim high, and at the same time keep your feet on the ground and keep a low profile. However complicated the situation is, you can always stay calm and collected, like an implicit yet firm man of noble character, to make a successful career and live a happy life!

Meeting each other is fate and knowing each other is bliss. It is my responsibility and my fortune to learn and grow with you. And I'm delighted for you to find you own luck and responsibility with unremitting efforts. I hope that all the graduates here can ride the horse of dreams and make the most of the youth with the extraordinary temperament cultivated in Tongji, to create a vigorous and brilliant future! I hope in the 120th anniversary of the founding of Tongji, you will return with great achievements and unchanged dreams!

Stay true to your original aspirations, and set sail once again! I hope all of you remember the spirit of Tongji and stride toward a brilliant life! I'm looking forward to seeing your smiles when you achieve success in your career or in the academia!