NTU’s First-Ever Online Graduation Ceremony Shows Creativity at Its Best

Date: 2021/7/14

Image1:NTU Minecraft created a virtual campus tour.Image2:President Chung-Ming Kuan giving opening remarks.Image3:President Chung-Ming Kuan giving opening remarks	Distinguished guest Anthony Lo giving an address.Image4:Graduates exchanging farewells.Image5:NTU Winds Orchestra performing online.

NTU Minecraft created a virtual campus tour.

President Chung-Ming Kuan giving opening remarks.

President Chung-Ming Kuan giving opening remarks Distinguished guest Anthony Lo giving an address.

Graduates exchanging farewells.

NTU Winds Orchestra performing online.

As the pandemic resurges in Taiwan, online activities have become the new normal. This year, National Taiwan University canceled its typical in-person graduation ceremony and put out the first-ever NTU online graduation ceremony. The online ceremony was the joint efforts of the Office of Student Affairs and numerous students, who edited all videos in advance. The ceremony was live-streamed on June 26, whose brilliantly creative sessions made it unforgettable and to some extent consoled the disappointed graduates and their parents for not being able to attend in person.

The class of 2021 comprises 10,259 graduates, of whom 4,905 were conferred bachelor degrees, 4,850 master degrees, and 504 doctoral degrees. The virtual campus tour that kicked off the ceremony was created by NTU Minecraft, featuring several cute animated graduates who set out from Zhen Xing Lawn in front of the Main Library and walked along the Royal Palm Boulevard, passing through iconic sites such as Multi-Purpose Classroom Building, the school gate, and Fu Bell. Members of NTU Winds Orchestra also presented a video performance by each of them recording their part from home, which turned out to be a great success. The ceremony ended with the message videos from different students clubs sending best wishes to the graduates.

President Chung-Ming Kuan (管中閔) mentioned that during Covid-19, the world sees rising tensions between great powers and global supply chains reorganizing. Under such conditions, the post-pandemic era is full of uncertainty. Whether the reshaped global political economic order makes the world a better place remains uncertain, but certainly will be a world we have to live in, where challenges and opportunities await. The task faced by the graduates is to figure out how to apply what they have learned and grasp every opportunity. There is no exact answer as to how to cope with this task; the graduates will have to look for it by themselves.

President Kuan also reminded the graduates that many medical workers at the frontline are teachers and alumni of NTU, who are the true heroes of Taiwan’s society. He said if we fight together, the pandemic will come to its end. The president also wished everyone good health and success at the end of his speech.

This year, the guest speaker was Anthony Lo (羅祥安), the former CEO of Giant Group and founder of Giant Bicycles. Graduated from the Business Administration of NTU in 1969, Lo talked about how ambitious he was as a fresh graduate and how eager he was to prove himself by entering the largest trading company in Taiwan. However, two years later he realized he did not enjoy either being a businessman or doing business. His real interest was to establish an enterprise. Decided to follow his heart, Lo gave up a decent salary and went after his dream by joining a small bicycle company consisted of only 38 employees. Looking back now, he knew he had made a good decision in his life.

Lo also shared with the graduates two secrets to success derived from empathy as a graduation gift. The first one is always to put themselves in the customer’s shoes to create value for the customer. Next is to put themselves in the owner’s place and find out how to create a healthy company that can sustain and grow. He encouraged the graduates to listen to even the faintest voice in their hearts, which will guide them to discover their talents and what they are destined to do. “Do not seek to be the first but the only; be yourself and the only one”, said Lo.

There are three valedictorians this year. The first one is Yu-Hsuan Lin (林語萱) from the Department of Political Science, who shared the three most valuable credits she had earned over the past four years: Courage, adaptability, and trusting oneself. Lin said we should always do what we believe is right with courage. In a world where nothing stays unchanged, she shared how NTU had taught her to adapt to survive. When the environment pushes us to our limits, Lin reminded all not to forget to sit back and take a moment to listen to our hearts.

The second valedictorian is Shih-Feng Lin (林世峰) from the Department of Psychology, who said Covid-19 had turned the class of 2021 the most bewildered but also the most special one. He depicted the pandemic as a strict teacher who teaches students to cherish each other and pursue their dream during the time of chaos. He also said he had come to realize that learning is a grand journey, the purposes of which are to promote oneself for the benefit of others, explore the unknown, and create values. He shared how he had worked with the students from different departments and countries to found the NTU Avizure Education Club, which aims to guide middle and high school students to explore the meaning of learning and the value of self.

The last valedictorian is an International student, Seth Austin Harding (韓哈斯). He shared how excited he was by studying at the Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering at NTU. However, frustrated by the linguistic barrier and two surgeries he underwent for fixing his torn ACL from playing basketball, Harding came to the lowest point of his life. After seeking help from NTU counseling, his psychiatrist, and his department, Harding decided to go all out and not let frustration get the best of him. He rediscovered his passion for computer science and co-founded NTUAI with his peers, which is now a large and highly successful NTU club. He encouraged the graduates to stay positive when facing any difficulty, for that will lead to a change in self or even a change in persons they love. Harding concluded with a quote from his favorite film, Kung Fu Panda, “You just need to believe”, says Po’s father, “there is no secret ingredient. It's just you.”

Scroll to Top button