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Commencement 2020:Chinese valedictorian hails "wonderful atmosphere in cross-cultural communication"

We are delighted to share the texts of commencement addresses delivered by speakers during the 2020 graduation ceremonies. For a photo gallery commemorating the festivities, click here. To read GBJ co-director Rick Dunham's commencement speech, click here.

Li Dongxiao was chosen as valedictorian of the Chinese GBJ students. He also won an award for service to the GBJ program for his exceptional work as a teaching assistant.




JUNE 21, 2020

Respected Faculty Members,

Dear Friends,

It is a great honor for me to speak as the representative of Chinese graduates taking part in the GBJ program.

Congratulations to the GBJ graduating class of 2020 for the achievements we have made, and the love and happiness we have received here during the past two or three years.

Time flies so fast. I still remember how delighted I was three years ago when I learned that the GBJ program was also open to Chinese students, and I took three courses the very first semester.

It turned out a wise choice. We have the best professors from both the media industry and academia, and I have benefited greatly from the program’s international perspective. Veteran journalists from the top news agencies in the world teach us the most advanced ideas and tools in financial news editing and broadcasting, as well as skills in data mining. Meanwhile, students from different cultural backgrounds participate together in our classes and create a wonderful atmosphere in cross-cultural communication and cooperation.

We formed small work groups in different classes to complete all kinds of tasks. Chinese and international students became not only partners, but also good friends.

I enjoyed GBJ so much that after the first year when I finished all the credits required for my certificate, I stayed in GBJ by acting as a teaching assistant for the next two years. As a result, I have many goods friends from three entering classes of GBJ students.

For most of you here, we had a wonderful time in Professor Doug Harbrecht’s class together. By assisting him with the teaching, I learned a lot from him and from you. Last year when I met Doug in United States, he told me how proud he was of the exceptional students he taught at Tsinghua.

GBJ is another home for me. I like to go to the GBJ office and talk with professors there because they will always enlighten me not only on my study but also on life. Professor Rick Dunham is always kind and patient even though sometimes I may burden him with some complicated affairs. Professor Lee Miller, who joked that I am his cousin Lee, is always open to me when I consult him. And for you guys, I cherish the time we spent together.

The GBJ program not only teaches us knowledge, but it brings international students to China and brings the world to Chinese students, making us feel like a family that can share thoughts and feelings even with different cultures.

Today, though separated by the quarantine, we got the same special excitement of gathering together and feel no barriers. Let’s keep feeling this for long haul. Let’s take the high expectations of our faculty, take the friendship of the classmates and take our best selves to embrace the brilliant future.

I will miss you guys! Thanks!

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