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Good evening, everyone.

First of all, I'd like to send my congratulations to all students and your friends and relatives on behalf of the college! Graduation is a cause for celebration.

On the morning of the day before yesterday, I presided over a grand ceremony exactly here. Mr. Wu Guanzhong's son donated 66 works of Mr. Wu to Tsinghua University. As we all know, Mr. Wu's final official identity during his lifetime, about which he personally cared, was a professor of Tsinghua University. However, for various reasons, the university only kept one of his works before, which was a great regret for us. On the afternoon of the day before yesterday, Mr. Wu's 66 works were embraced into Tsinghua University Art Museum. They are an invaluable sum of wealth for the university, so the ceremony witnessed the presence of both the president and the Party secretary. My heart was full of joy while I presided over that grand ceremony. Standing here today, my heart is also full of joy in face of you. This is another harvest season for our teachers.

Since 2014, Tsinghua University, as one of the first pilot units of the national higher education reform, has promoted reform in all aspects. The progress of the school over the years is obvious to all, and many reform measures have been taken in education and teaching. As an experimental area of the university's general education reform, Xinya College has taken the lead in completing a lot of work. Just now, some students and teachers talked about their gains in this experiment, and mentioned the foundation that general education has laid for their future development. We feel very gratified to hear that. For ordinary people, life is only about 900 months. Life will not be a uniform process, and different months have different meanings for us. The month you were enrolled four years ago may remain fresh in your memory. This month, however, marks your graduation. Whether you will leave the university or continue to study here, or even stay here for a lifetime like me, this month is the end of an old stage and the beginning of a new one. I believe it is very important to you.

Just now, the student representatives talked about their gains and feelings at Xinya College in the past four years. In the past two years, I frequently communicated with other teachers from various departments of Xinya College. I was deeply impressed with the efforts of them for the students. Just now,a teacher talked about his expectation for the students through the two characters "Xin" and "Ya". Although the school is creating a clean academic atmosphere, I still want to "plagiarize" his creativity to express my personal understanding of the two characters.

What is "Xin"? I'm not going to talk about "Xin" from the perspective of the new, opposite of the old. I want to define it as "changing with each passing day". What does that mean in depth? The education offered by Xinya College is general education. It is not a kind of education that makes people more stubborn and narrow-minded but the education that enables people to become more open-minded and inclusive."Changing with each passing day" is a normal state of the world, and it is a basic quality for an individual, a nation and a society that are vigorous and promising.We receive general education to make our thinking more open and understand the diversity of cultures and values. We gain happiness in general education, although what makes us grow up is not always happiness — otherwise, how can we grow better? However, all hard work will pay off. Just as a student just mentioned, we have a lot of reading and quite a few challenging courses. What is reading for? For knowing more things? For packing more topics of conversation into our mind? No. We read to enrich and change our mind though not everyone can enrich and change their mind through reading. I know some people whose reading makes themselves more closed and more convinced that they are right. They see everything as nutrients reinforcing their prejudice through their own special filters. As we all know, in this age when information becomes increasingly available, technologies make it easy for you to find people with the same taste, preference and prejudice as yours, so that you may easily be constrained by a narrow view in this open and accessible information environment.So, for the character "Xin", I hope that you can maintain consciousness of "changing with each passing day", as well as an open and inclusive mind.

The character "Ya" certainly has a positive meaning. It is always associated with "elegant", "cultured" and "liberal". "Ya" means "high-grade". The opposite of "elegant" is "vulgar". There is a great gap between high and low, as well as elegant and vulgar. When it comes to "high", I'd like to define it as "high aspirations". Just now, I mentioned the university is building a clean academic atmosphere, and I think the students have also been involved in this matter to different degrees. A very important part of a clean academic atmosphere is the most fundamental academic character — integrity, namely observing the basic academic norms. At Tsinghua University, however, integrity and observing the basic academic norms is far from enough for both students and teachers. In the 1950s, Ping-ti Ho (He Bingdi), the best alumnus of the Department of History at Tsinghua University who later became President of the Association for Asian Studies, met Chia-Chiao Lin (Lin Jiaqiao), his old friend from the old days at the university. Both of them lived in the United States for many years. When they met, one served a first-class historian and the other was a leader of applied mathematics and mechanics. Later, when they recalled that meeting, they both said, "It has been years since we left Tsinghua University, but we all keep in mind that we must engage in first-class projects because we are graduates from the university." I don't think all the students present will be engaged in academic research in the future, but you must be ambitious. Everyone wants to live a decent life, but we hope that it is just a "byproduct" of your struggle, not all your desire. Otherwise, you should say sorry to your own talents and your learning opportunities. Never shrink yourself into a small world. We do not have a second life. Missing the opportunity for broader development is the greatest disrespect for your own life.

"Ya" also means "not tacky". You are members of Xinya College and your own department. No matter what kind of job you will do in the future, you should not be tacky, and remain cultured. What I want to tell you is that pleasure requires abilities. What does that mean? Simply put, if you want to eat Chongqing hot pot, you must be able to eat chili. Those who are unable to eat chili cannot enjoy Chongqing hot pot. If you did not have a pair of eyes to appreciate beauty, or if you were not edified by Mr. Li Mu, you would get much less fun from an art exhibition. Our auditory, visual and reading taste, if cultivated, would enable us to enjoy a lot of beautiful things in life. And these things cannot be tasted by people without the abilities. After receiving general education at Xinya College, you should consciously ask yourselves to have a higher taste and pursue a life that is not tacky. What is the meaning of "being not tacky"? I would take Mr. He Zhaowu for example. He is my teacher and an alumnus of the university. During my postgraduate study period and a period after I became a faculty member of the school, I often took books and magazines sent by presses to Mr. He as well as remittance orders. At that time, an author was paid for his published article or book. Of course, the remuneration was not transferred via WeChat, but mailed in the form of a remittance order through the post office. Every time Mr. He saw a remittance order, he would say, "Doing research is my hobby but people still pay me a salary and even a contribution fee." Many years later, I saw a quote from Geoffrey Elton, a British historian I favor, "People like me do research because we are so interested in it. Those who engage in industry are willing to pay me for my research, so that I can live a decent life. Whenever I think of this, I have a deep sense of gratitude." They may be seen as bookworms by many people. But you, as the beneficiaries of general education, should keep your valuable scholar's style in addition to donating money to Tsinghua University and Xinya College if you become successful businessmen in the future. Please bear in mind changing with each passing day because you were once educated to be elegant, cultured and learned.

Each man goes through different stages in his lifetime. At different stages, you experience different things and meet different people. The part of a good university that will never be replaced by extremely rich and luxurious network resources is human communication. Here, you can always communicate with Mr. Gan Yang and your excellent peers in the real world. Mr. Li Mu may tell you that you actually didn't know you have a talent for painting. Such things of a university campus can never be replaced. Only after you leave will you know that all you had here is not a matter of course, but treasure. Again, I'd like to send my congratulations to you and your friends and relatives. Besides, I'd like to express my most heartfelt thanks and respect to the teachers of Xinya College and the teachers from all departments of the university that support the work of the college. I appreciate your efforts!

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