'XJTLU Honoured Contributors 2018' was held at the Plaza of Honour on the South Campus of Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, to celebrate the special day of the 22nd May.
Among the 17 nominees on the list were staff members with more than 10 years' working experience and outstanding work performance at XJTLU, students and alumni with inspiring stories to be shared, external individuals and entities that had made significant contributions to the development of XJTLU, and current members of the XJTLU Board of Directors and the XJTLU senior management team.
The executive president of XJTLU, Professor Youmin Xi, and vice presidents Professor Minzhu Yang, Professor David Goodman and Professor Qiuling Chao and other university senior staff members attended the ceremony.
In his opening speech, Professor Xi (pictured below) extended congratulations and gratitude to those honoured ones who had entered the Plaza of Honour, and he also introduced what was special about the particular date and place of the ceremony:
“On May 22, 2006, XJTLU obtained the official approval certificate of schooling issued by the Ministry of Education in China, which marked the official establishment of XJTLU," he said. "Therefore, we have chosen to celebrate this memorable moment on this special day, together with honoured contributors who have witnessed the growth of XJTLU.”
Professor Xi also mentioned the group sculpture ‘Pioneers of Future Higher Education’ on the West side of the Plaza of Honour, which depicts graduates and staff members of XJTLU from all over the world.
“In the early 21 century," he said, "faculty members and students from different parts of the world came to XJTLU in Suzhou, China, and with wisdom and diligence, they began a new chapter in the history of education. The Plaza of Honour was set up in memory of their contributions to educational exploration as well as the development of XJTLU. This is also the significance of this group sculpture.”
Professor Jingming Guo from the Department of Mathematical Sciences, and Cheng Lyu, an XJTLU alumnus who graduated in 2013, gave acceptance speeches as representatives of the Honoured Contributors of 2018.
In his speech, Professor Guo (pictured below) expressed his gratitude, and talked about the changes in his teaching principles and methods over the course of 11 years of teaching XJTLU:
“I began to be more empathetic with students, and I now explore the innovative ideas and methods lying behind math content that I think are more meaningful for students’ future development,” said Professor Guo.
“I began to absorb the merits of mathematical teaching both in China and the West, and make efforts to merge them together. Thanks to the cross-cultural environment of XJTLU, this practice proceeds well,” he said.
Alumnus Cheng Lyu (pictured below), general manager responsible for the smart home hardware division of tech giant Baidu, expressed his joy and excitement about coming back to his alma mater.
Noticing the rapid development of the University in the past few years, he said he was envious of current students who could enjoy the latest facilities on campus. If possible, he said, he would very much like to come back to XJTLU to study again.
Cheng stated he believes that life is about choices and that “applying for XJTLU is one of the best choices I have ever made.”
The Plaza of Honour of XJTLU was completed in 2016, and an award ceremony for XJTLU honoured contributors has been held every two years since then.
The honoured contributors fall into the following six categories: honoured staff; honoured student; honoured alumni; honoured professors or honorary degrees; honorary external contributors, including individuals and organisations; honoured senior staff of the University, including members of the Board and senior management team.
Every category has a specific standard for nomination and procedure for selection. The nomination takes effect once approved by the Board of Directors, and every honoured contributor is commemorated with a special nameplate to be engraved on the bronze parterre at the Plaza of Honour.
The 2018 Honoured Contributors this year included:
- Professor Jingming Guo, lecturer of the Department of Mathematical Sciences;
- Dr Ming Xu, associate professor of Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering;
- Lei Chen, team leader of the infrastructure team of the Management Information Technology and System Office;
- Junping Yuan, team leader for local student recruitment in the Student Admission and Career Development Office;
- Quanzhong Zhang, network management engineer of the Management Information Technology and System Office;
- Xijuan Gong, team leader of the One-stop Student Service Centre of the Student Affairs Office;
- Dr Xin Bi, deputy director of the Centre for Knowledge and Information;
- Dr Bo Xie, head of the Chinese Cultural Teaching Centre;
- Yike Hou, head of the Campus Management Office.
All have been working at XJTLU for over ten years and were selected as honoured contributors for their deep understanding of the management model of the school, outstanding working performance, and inspiring stories to be shared.
- Year Four student Kaifu Wang, who is studying applied mathematics;
- Year Four student Shengjie Sun, who is studying applied mathematics.
Both have displayed in-depth understanding about the educational model of the school and excellent academic performance.
- Alumnus Cheng Lyu, who graduated in 2013;
- Alumnus Jiahao Sun, who graduated in 2014.
Both have made outstanding achievements, kept in close contact with the school, and made great contributions to their alma mater.
- Professor Xiaoping Song, chairman of the XJTLU Board of Directors;
- Qun Xu, board member;
- Professor David Goodman, vice president for academic affairs;
- Professor Barry Godfrey, former vice president of XJTLU.
All have been selected into the Plaza of Honour as incumbent and former members of the Board and senior management team.
Story by Qiuchen Hu, photos by Yuanyuan Du
Translation by Yiling Yu, edited by Qiuchen Hu and Danny Abbasi