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Tsinghua SEM holds 2024 graduation ceremony


On the afternoon of June 30, 2024, the graduation ceremony for the Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management (Tsinghua SEM) was held at the Tsinghua University Gymnasium. Graduating students from the 2024 cohort, their families and friends attended. Dean BAI Chong-En presided over the graduation ceremony, and Eric Li, founder and chairman of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, delivered the commencement speech.

Photo of the Tsinghua SEM 2024 graduation ceremony

BAI Chong-En presides over the graduation ceremony.

Before the ceremony commenced, the organizers played videos of the school's various academic programs, offering a nostalgic reflection of the students' wonderful times on Tsinghua's campus. Teachers also shared words of advice and well wishes as the students prepared to embark on their new journey in life.

As the ceremony commenced, everyone stood and sang the national anthem of the People's Republic of China. Dean BAI Chong-En welcomed the graduating students, their families, and friends attending the graduation ceremony, and then spoke on the students' graduation status. During the 2023-2024 academic year, a total of 1,617 students graduated from Tsinghua SEM. This includes 263 undergraduates, 15 students with a second bachelor's degree, 76 students with minors, 1,199 master's students (including MBA and EMBA), and 64 doctoral students.

The ceremony continued with the awarding of the prestigious "CHEN Daisun Memorial Scholarship." This esteemed recognition is considered the highest honor bestowed upon undergraduate students at Tsinghua SEM. Its purpose is to recognize graduates who possess exceptional qualities, including a combination of exemplary moral character and academic excellence, significant personal development, outstanding overall attributed, and who reflect Tsinghua University's undergraduate education philosophy. Dean BAI Chong-En announced this year's list of recipients, which includes JIANG Chumeng from the SEM Class of '02-08, GENG Yuxin from the SEM Class of '04, and ZENG Ziqing from the SEM Class of '08.

BAI Chong-En presents the "CHEN Daisun Memorial Scholarship" to undergraduate students (left to right: BAI Chong-En, JIANG Chumeng, GENG Yuxin, and ZENG Ziqing).

After the award ceremony, seven students took to the stage to speak: JIANG Chumeng, an undergraduate student; JIANG Bowen, a graduate of the minor program; DUAN Jinghui, a master's program graduate; QIU Zhaodong, a doctoral program graduate; ZHOU Kaiyu, an MBA program graduate; Andrew Youssef, a dual-degree graduate from the Tsinghua-INSEAD EMBA program; and FU Baochang, an EMBA program graduate. They shared their achievements and insights gained during their time at Tsinghua SEM, expressed gratitude for the genuine friendships they formed with their classmates, and asked graduates to continue upholding the spirit of Tsinghua, fulfilling its mission of Tsinghua SEM, remaining true to their original aspirations, striving forward, and embracing an even brighter future.

Graduating students deliver speeches (left to right, top to bottom: JIANG Chumeng, JIANG Bowen, DUAN Jinghui, QIU Zhaodong, ZHOU Kaiyu, Andrew Youssef, and FU Changbao).

Dean BAI Chong-En introduced commencement speaker Eric Li. Mr. Li founded Zhejiang Geely Holding Group in 1986, initially working in industries such as refrigerators, decorative materials, and motorcycles before moving into the automotive sector in 1997. Under his leadership, Geely has committed itself to technological innovation and talent development, building a corporate culture with global vision and a commitment to social responsibility. The company is currently focused on the electrification and intelligent transformation of the automotive industry, advancing in areas such as new energy technology, shared mobility, Internet of Vehicles, intelligent driving and automotive chips. Li also established the Li Shufu Foundation, which is involved in charity and social welfare, promoting sustainable corporate philanthropy, social harmony and progress. He is a member of the 14th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), has served as a delegate to the 13th National People's Congress (NPC), and has been a member of the 10th, 11th, and 12th CPPCC National Committees. Additionally, he served as vice-chairman of the 12th All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce. Li has been honored as a "Reform Pioneer" by the CPC Central Committee and State Council.

Eric Li delivers his speech.

Eric Li then delivered an inspiring speech, sharing his life experiences and entrepreneurial insights with the graduates. He recalled his youth during the early stages of China's reform and opening-up, a period marked by a strong desire for development and vitality. Coming from a family of farmers, his father hoped education would change his destiny. However, Mr. Li was more drawn to the world beyond school and embarked on the path of entrepreneurship after graduating from high school.

Eric Li's entrepreneurial journey began with photography. While developing photos, he discovered that the fixative solution contained silver and realized that recovering and recycling this silver could have significant economic value. This discovery not only brought him his first substantial earnings but also ignited his passion for technology and manufacturing. He then focused on the copper and silver in discarded electronic parts, researching how to separate and recycle these metals, turning waste into valuable resources. Solving these technical challenges generated significant economic benefits. With improved entrepreneurial experience and business management skills, Mr. Li led his company through multiple transformations and cross-industry developments. Starting with construction materials and moving to motorcycles, he eventually entered the automobile manufacturing industry, strengthening Zhejiang Geely Holding Group.

Eric Li then shared Geely's experience in international mergers and acquisitions. He mentioned Geely's successful acquisitions of Volvo and Lotus in the United Kingdom as well as merging of the company's powertrain unit into a new global joint venture with France's Renault Group. These acquisitions highlight Geely's global vision and reflect the competitiveness of a Chinese company in the global market. Mr. Li also shared his insights on carbon neutrality and peak carbon, along with Geely's innovative practices in utilizing carbon dioxide. He explained that by converting carbon dioxide into storable liquid energy through technological innovation, Geely not only helps reduce emissions but also creates significant economic value.

"The wave of reform and opening-up policies pushed a farmer like me to the forefront of economic development and industrial transformation," said Eric Li, "Everything I achieved today is due to luck, and I must be grateful. I thank this great era and all the good people who have brought me luck. I will continue to strive hard, to give back everything I have earned to the world, and to dedicate it to kind and hardworking people."

Mr. Li emphasized that the brilliance of life lies in the process and that everyone should allocate their time based on their own pursuits to develop their capabilities. He encouraged the graduates to assess situations, act accordingly, and continually adjust their growth trajectories to realize their goals in this great era. Lastly, he wished the students a bright and promising future.

After Li's speech, Dean BAI Chong-En made a concluding statement. He highlighted that Eric Li's rich life and career experiences offered valuable management insights and provided an important lesson for students. BAI emphasized three points: first, the importance of being forward-thinking and possessing advanced foresight; second, the need to conform to the trends of the times and keep progressing; and third, the value of analyzing needs from the perspective of others to achieve mutually beneficial cooperation.

Facing a world full of opportunities and uncertainties, Dean BAI Chong-En expressed his hope that everyone would draw inspiration from Eric Li's speech to contemplate the future. He encouraged students to be grateful, maintain an unrelenting enterprising spirit, assess situations and act accordingly, choose their paths wisely, and continue advancing in their chosen directions. Through this process, they can contribute to the progress of human civilization and the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, finding joy and leading meaningful and splendid lives, he said.

After his speech, the faculty and students in the audience stood to sing the Tsinghua University school anthem, marking the end of the Tsinghua SEM's 2024 graduation ceremony.

Photos capture the moment as students pose for pictures at the Tsinghua SEM 2024 graduation ceremony.

Dean BAI Chong-En took individual photos with each graduating student on June 29 and 30.

BAI Chong-En takes photo with graduating student.

Before the graduation ceremony, Tsinghua SEM organized a reception in the square at the Lihua Building. Approximately 2,000 graduating students and their families and friends attended. The faculty and students from the school performed singing, dancing, and music to convey their well-wishes for the graduates. The students expressed their heartfelt farewells and shared the memorable and joyful moment with their teachers and families.

People pose for a group photo at the Tsinghua SEM 2024 graduation reception.