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.
REMARKS BY ANGELA FENG (FENG ANQI) OF CANADA,
INTERNATIONAL VALEDICTORIAN, GLOBAL BUSINESS JOURNALISM PROGAM
GLOBAL BUSINESS JOURNALISM COMMENCEMENT
JUNE 21, 2020
Good morning and congratulations to my fellow classmates and family members who are tuning in on this special day. I’m extremely honored to sit here today representing the class of 2020 of Global Business Journalism.
I would like to especially acknowledge our co-directors for the program, Professor Hang Min, joining us from Beijing, and Professor Rick Dunham, who’s joining us from the U.S. Thank you for making this amazing program happen.
I want to thank our distinguished faculty members and administrative staffs on behalf of my class for assisting us throughout our studies here in Tsinghua. Special thanks to my supervisor, Professor Shi Anbin, for encouraging and inspiring me academically, I wouldn’t have accomplished the achievements I have today without your guidance.
When the school first asked me to give the graduation speech this year, aside from being thrilled, I also felt somewhat challenged. Graduation speeches are usually super cheerful and hopeful, but this year is very different. For one, we are hosting the graduation ceremony online, and thanks to technology, we are all gathered in the same virtual meeting room, but I know we are all sad that we can’t be together physically to say congratulations to each other’s faces, to give big hugs, to take pictures which all sum up to a wholesome Tsinghua experience.
But I am still thankful that we are all safe and sound and appreciate this unique experience for each graduating student here today and I want to tell you I miss seeing your faces. This year is also a little different because not only have we reached a milestone in our lives, on an individual and a collective level, we are forced to face and adapt to a lot of uncertainties during these unprecedented times.
I’m sure I’m not the only one here today who’s plans after graduation got affected. For instance, the job market is grim, people might not be located to their desired countries to live, study or work, things are not as perfect as we had envisioned. So, it really got me thinking, we made it with a graduate degree at a prestigious university- but with all these unknowns in our lives, what now? What did my education guarantee me? For me personally, it absolutely guaranteed me a remarkable academic experience and valuable relationships that will last for a lifetime.
GBJ is a program that delivers a multinational, multicultural, and multi-dimensional experience. The program has taught me some hard skills in journalism and news writing and also provided me with soft skills like how to conduct interviews and broadcast communications. It also pushed me to believe with dedication and perseverance, I can accomplish limitless things.
By building relationships with my classmates and professors, I’ve grown to see things in the long run and embrace the unknown not for its uncertainties but for its indication of endless possibilities. So I challenge you, my dear classmates, to be comfortable in not being completely sure of the future but at the same time being steadfast in your faith that it will be amazing.
During our two years stay, a lot has happened in this world. I remembered our first semester writing assignments for almost every class revolved around the U.S.-China trade war. The summer of 2019 wasn’t peaceful either, with the wild fires destroying Brazil’s Amazon rainforest and in Asia, the HK protests, and just when we are getting most of our dramas from Trump’s Twitter feeds, COVID-19 and, most recently, George Floyd protests around the world.
These economic and social upheavals challenge us, as students of Journalism and Communication, to look at how media and the dissemination of messages instill power in their reach of influence. I’ve come to establish professional acuteness and sensitivity towards every piece of news I encounter and am aware of misinformation, disinformation, and various news framing techniques.
I’m very glad that the school has equipped us with the skills of cultivating the habits of discerning and spreading information that are essential to surviving and thriving in the digital age. The studies and application of media have allowed us to be at the forefront of communication in the era of globalization and we are proud to have Tsinghua as our root of education to carry on our social responsibilities in this world.
Each and every one of us who walks out today as a proud graduate of GBJ holds certain responsibilities from our education. Though many of us might not continue in the same path or profession we shall forever practice and live by the essence of journalism, which is to live by the truth.
I would like to end my speech borrowing what Oprah [Winfrey] said in her commencement speech to USC [the University of Southern California] in 2018: that our job in society, when presenting information "not only to tell it, to write it, to proclaim it, or to speak it, but to be it. Be the truth.”
I thank each of you today for being in my life, and I hope we can all keep in touch for the years to come. Congratulations!