A New Journey Begins

Sep 1 2017

On August 26th, the 345 newest members of the Class of 2021, joined by their proud parents from around the world, learned their “first lesson” at NYU Shanghai at the University’s fifth convocation ceremony.

Kicking off the ceremony, Chancellor Yu Lizhong elaborated on the meaning of “Chess” -- the theme that runs through this year’s Orientation events, by comparing the journey of study to a chess game. “Chess is one of the four arts cultivated by ancient Chinese scholars; we hope students make thoughtful plans for their four years of study, similar to the strategic planning used in order to win a chess game,” he said.

“We expect our students to grow up with integrity and ideals, think critically, build a sense of social responsibility, and live with the heart and practice of caring for themselves and others,” Chancellor Yu added.

Joining Chancellor Yu, Provost Joanna Waley-Cohen introduced NYU Shanghai’s vast academic resources, especially highlighting the unique facets of a liberal arts education in the context of a well-connected, global network. She also advised freshmen to develop in three paramount dimensions over the following years.

“Students need to learn about new information and communication technology, have broad experiences that cultivate creativity and work effectively with people from different cultures in order to function optimally in our globalized world,” she said.

Subsequently, two senior student representatives, James Bromley ‘18 and Branden Taylor ‘18 greeted the new class on behalf of the Student Government: “Congratulations on stepping out of your comfort zone, on taking the next step, and finally, on making the world your major.”

During the ceremony, Orientation Ambassadors and upperclassmen also put on wonderful performances, including an ensemble of the Chinese traditional “guqin” and a flash mob that dazzled the crowd.

The ceremony ended with the performance of NYU Shanghai’s Alma Mater, with which, surprisingly, many of the freshmen were already familiar. “I learned to sing the Alma Mater soon after it was released in May, and now I finally had the opportunity to sing it aloud on campus,” said Yang Jiaxin ‘21. “Instead of having the feeling of coming to a strange place, I feel as though I’m being welcomed back home.”

If you missed the convocation, you can check out more photos here.