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

Speech by Tongji Distinguished Professor Men Honghua, Dean of the School of Political Science & International Relations, Tongji University

At the 2017 Opening Ceremony

September 12, 2017

Dear Students of Class of 2017,

Fellow Teachers,

On behalf of all the faculty and students of the School of Political Science & International Relations (SPSIR) of Tongji University, I'd like to extend a warm welcome to all newcomers! Congratulations on making your first life choice to enter our School for further study. At this moment, your faces are lit up with youth and vigor, and the hearts of the teachers are filled with expectation and responsibility. I am so proud of you!

Today, we are living in an era where China is closely connected with the rest of the world, an era where technology is developing rapidly and the society is further opening up, an era where the Chinese nation is rising and the world pattern is undergoing drastic changes, and an era where the integration of human civilizations are accelerating in collision. Both China and the world are in a new age of development and transformation. Young and vigorous as you are, you may be looking forward to realizing your ambition fearlessly, and you may be also concerned with human sufferings and the security of the country. There are countless opportunities for you to seize and challenges for you to address. This is your era!

Welcome to join us at Tongji University. You choose Tongji, and Tongji also chooses you. As the old saying goes, "The way to great learning is to manifest bright virtue and to treat the people as one's own family, thereby arriving at supreme goodness." The fundamental task of a university is to improve the personality of the students, enhance their ability, and temper their will. Tongji University is also aimed at cultivating students with sound personality, solid knowledge and creativity. Its uniqueness lies in that it has been an institution of higher learning with the ideal of Great Harmony and the aspiration of making a better world since its foundation, as well as a global vision and a high degree of social responsibility. Over the past 110 years, Tongji University has followed the fine tradition of "growing with the motherland and benefiting mankind with science and education" and cultivated numerous men of tremendous promise for the country.  

Soar to the ninth heaven and dive down to the deep ocean; build towering buildings and turn the deep chasm into a thoroughfare - this is a portray of Tongji's ambition.It's carved in the hearts of the scientists and engineers cultivated by Tongji. Yet, the exploration of the objective world is inseparable from the cognition and concern for human society. The balance and combination of scientific and humanistic spirit is the logic underlying the continuation of human civilization. At present, both domestic and international situations are closely integrated. New phenomena, new challenges and new topics are emerging one after another. These issues are directly related to disciplines of our School, so that you can intuitively perceive the social changes at all levels across time and space, and understand the integration of humanities and science from the dimensions of history, reality and future.

We at the School adhere to the basic ideas of "building the School on sound institutions, prospering it through academic excellence, making it stronger through discipline development, and putting students first". Through deepening reforms and resource integration, we promote the restructuring of the School, and create the trend of coordinated development of political sciences, international relations and sociology, with international studies as the core. We focus on strategic research, create a highland for China's strategic research, and build an academic platform with great influence at home and abroad. We strengthen the integration of liberal arts, sciences and engineering and develop an important platform for interdisciplinary cooperation at Tongji. And we are committed to cultivating elites with a global vision, strategic thinking, and a good knowledge of international affairs and national governance.

We implement a differentiated development strategy and focus on the following aspects in terms of discipline construction. First, "international strategy and global governance" is the core. We seek to build a first-class discipline of International Relations, secure our leadership in strategic studies in China, and establish a Tongji strategy school in international studies. Second, "comparative politics and national governance" is the pillar. We promote the Department of Political Science to focus on researches in this field. Third, "urban development and social governance" is the fulcrum. We promote the Department of Sociology to shift focus to political sociology and social governance research. Through the above reform and development, we seek to create a situation where governance theory is the basis, strategic studies are the core, domestic and international situations are closely integrated, and multiple disciplines including politics, economy, sociology, culture, and diplomacy develop in a coordinated way.

I sincerely expect your participation, so that we can learn from each other and make concerted efforts in this cause. We at the School often organize high-end forums and academic lectures to help faculty members and students at Tongji appreciate great masters' demeanor and enjoy a feast of thoughts. At the same time, we also provide a wide range of exchange programs at home and abroad, paving the way for those aspiring to pursue an academic career. "A truly noble and virtuous person is distinguished from its kind." I believe that our School will develop by leaps and bounds, and our students will make progress continuously!

As you are embarking on a new journey, on behalf of the faculty of our School, I put forward the following expectations for you:

First, build an open and inclusive knowledge system. As the old saying goes, "The truth doesn't fall into the hands of a few, so knowledge has no limit." You are the architect of your own knowledge system. I hope you will be open-minded and creative enough to constantly restructure and improve the knowledge system, explore the vast world and discover a better self.

Second, get a deeper understanding of China-world relations. You need to explore the origin of such relations and think about their future trend, so that you can understand their positive interaction and actively participate in it.

Third, enhance professional competence and foster a spirit of teamwork. Learning is a journey of the mind. As you sail in the ocean of knowledge covering both specialized knowledge and humanistic literacy, I hope, you will be guided by thinking, fueled by reading and driven by writing; I hope you will regard your teachers as trustworthy navigators and your classmates as the closest partners.

Fourth, improve humanistic quality and become a positive social person. A nation will be prosperous if its young generation is ambitious and reliable. As a SPSIRer, you are expected to have an open mind, a broad horizon and a pioneering spirit, and realize the value of life in making contributions to the society.

Dear Students,

 In the long journey ahead, there will be paths strewn with thorns and roads decorated by flowers in full bloom; there will be rainy and sunny days; and there will be ups and downs. Whatever you encounter, I hope you will adopt an optimistic and open-minded attitude, as described in the poetry by Su Shi that "Who fears? A cloak braves all weathers all the time", and I hope you will transcend the ego and achieve the greater self. Let us join hands on this new journey. Look forward to you sailing from here toward a brilliant life!

Thank you!