Schwarzman College welcomes fifth cohort of scholars-Tsinghua University News

Schwarzman College welcomes fifth cohort of scholars

Schwarzman College welcomes fifth cohort of scholars

Schwarzman College of Tsinghua University hosted an opening ceremony on September 10 for the class of 2020-2021, a group of 131 young talents from 40 countries and regions. For the first time, the ceremony was held both online and offline.

Chinese Vice-Premier Sun Chunlan delivered a speech via video to the new students of Tsinghua University’s Schwarzman College.

Sun affirmed the role of the college in promoting high-level educational cooperation between China and the United States, saying that the world today is a tightly connected community that shares both happiness and suffering, and that education is the fundamental way to pass on civilization and knowledge, cultivate young people and strengthen mutual exchange and learning.

Sun said she hoped the students can make the best of this learning opportunity and be diligent and persevere.

She called on them to improve their team spirit and cultivate an international perspective with an open mind, and to participate in and promote cultural exchanges, so that they can make a greater contribution to the wellbeing of all peoples and the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

Tsinghua University President Qiu Yong welcomed the incoming Schwarzman scholars on behalf of the University. He recalled the first opening ceremony of Schwarzman College five years ago, and spoke highly of the achievements of the College has made since its establishment. President Qiu encouraged the incoming cohort to have a broad mind, cultivate the spirit of self-improvement, and strive to become a bridge between China and the world, and to achieve their own ideals in life.

Stephen A. Schwarzman, Founding Trustee of Schwarzman Scholars, and Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO of Blackstone, emphasized that the complex international situation highlights the significance of Schwarzman College’s mission to “build a more peaceful world”. The college must continue to serve as a bridge between China and the rest of the world, he added.

Xue Lan, Dean of Schwarzman College, presided over the ceremony.

Three representatives of the incoming scholars of Schwarzman College - Lina Abojaradeh from Jordan, Colleen O’Connor from the USA, and Wang Zixin from China - jointly delivered their response during the ceremony. They said that it was a great honor to join the diverse academic community of Schwarzman College and have the opportunity to learn and grow with the best young people from all over the world. They believed that even though they are miles apart, that won’t stop them from becoming one family. They said they would cherish the opportunity to meet in extraordinary times, strive to create more opportunities for discussion and exchange, and share their insights to become qualified "future leaders".

“I was moved by how well supported I felt in the program—from class selection, to professional development, to senior scholars' activities, and to events organized by fellow scholars from the fifth cohort. I realize that being a Schwarzman Scholar is more than joining a program. Rather, it is an identity that I began to acquire. It speaks about who I am, whom I want to become, and what I hope to achieve. It is about everyone supporting each other on similar journeys. It is about sharing one common identity that makes each one of us stronger and more capable in achieving our goals. For this, I'm deeply grateful to everyone in the community,” said Xu Anqi, one of the current scholars of Schwarzman College.

Designed to inspire the next generation of global leaders, Schwarzman Scholars was officially launched in April 2013, and Schwarzman College, Tsinghua University, was formally established in October 2015. Chinese President Xi Jinping and the 44th President of the United States Barack Obama sent congratulatory letters to Schwarzman College. The program aims to build a global network of dynamic leaders who will establish stronger relationships between China and a rapidly changing world, and address the most pressing challenges of the 21st century.

Writer: Sangeet Sangroula
Editors: Li Han,  John Olbrich,  John Paul Grima