Dear graduates, families of graduates, mentors and teachers of graduates, ladies and gentlemen:
What a wonderful and special day it is for all of us! The commencement today is a celebration of our years of collective effort, especially that of our graduates. On such an auspicious occasion, please accept my heartfelt congratulations and best wishes to all of our graduates!
Dear graduates, I feel extremely happy and honored to have this opportunity to share with you the joy of this milestone achievement in your life. Seeing your bright smiles reminds me of the excitement of my own graduation from Fudan University. That moment, even though it was 31 years ago, still inspires me to move forward. So I know that this moment, and what it embodies, will inspire you to pursue the endless possibilities in your life.
Seeing your bright smiles also reminds me of the urge to share with you so many things, but I will retrain myself to only one topic that we all care: Life science and future. As we all know, life science is an eternal theme of mankind. Ever since the dawn of civilization, countless sages have marveled about the wonder of life, sighed about the inevitability of sickness and death, and relentlessly pursued the improvement of health and longevity. Since the middle of the last century, life science has experienced rapid development and has generated profound impacts on key issues in medicine, food, energy, and environment. Today, research in life science is leading a new revolution in changing how we live.
Answering the call of our era, School of Life Science and Technology was established in 2013 as one of the four founding schools of ShanghaiTech. Yet, we all know that pursuing a career in life science takes long-term training and requires unyielding determination, which deterred many young students from studying life science. However, you are different! Several years ago, you had the courage to take on these challenges by choosing life science as your pursuit; and in the past several years you had the tenacity to overcome many challenges in your pursuit to achieve today’s success.As the second class of undergraduates and some of the earliest graduate students in our School, you have all witnessed and, more importantly, contributed to the rapid growth of our school. Our undergraduate students thrive in the class rooms and labs, not only at ShanghaiTech, but also at Harvard, Yale, UC Berkeley, and other world-class universities. Your creativity shines on the stage of iGEM. Our graduate students have become the major force of research at ShanghaiTech. You have made world-class discoveries, and through this process, you have transformed yourself from a student to a mature, independent, and aspiring young scientist. I am so proud of all of you!
I also want to thank all of you for your trust and confidence in ShanghaiTech, a brand-new university initially without a campus, without a record of success, and certainly without reputation. Your choice of ShanghaiTech as your university and your choice of life science as your career, as well as your fabulous success in these choices, all speak volumes of your courage, your passion in pursing what you believe in, and your ability to achieve what you pursue. With these important qualities and what you have learned here in the past several years, I know that you will continue to thrive in whatever you will do next, and I hope that you will always maintain these qualities when you face the unknown in the future.
The future for you will arrive as soon as the commencement concludes today. This is a future of hope, a future of challenge, and a future of ever-increasing success. This future is not reflected in a particular application form or position but it is waiting for you to deliver your passionand creativity in your pursuit and in your life. May all of you open your arms to embrace this wonderful future!
Haifan Lin, Ph.D.
Founding Dean (Adjunct)
June 29, 2019