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President Lee’s Speech Delivered at the 80th Anniversary Celebration Ceremony of NTU

Distinguished guests, dear alumni, teachers, and students:
Today marks the happy occasion of the 80th founding anniversary of National Taiwan University. All NTU community members without exception welcome this day of special historical significance with whole hearted joy and jubilation. Over the past eighty years, with the persistent efforts of our colleagues, and the enthusiastic support from our alumni, NTU has fostered many outstanding talents for Taiwan and the world, including one Nobel Prize laureate, fifteen members of the American Academy of Sciences, ninety nine academicians of Academia Sinica, the President of UC Berkeley and UC Santa Barbara, thirty eights presidents of the various universities of Taiwan, as well as leaders of all trades and professions of Taiwan. In addition, National Taiwan University set up an academic benchmark for the higher education of the Chinese people, opened up multitudinous directions for development, and made excellent contributions to our society and our nation.

That our university has been able to stand firm and erect during the past eighty years while constantly seeking self improvement is largely attributable to our steadfast belief in the three core tenets, which are: "excellence in teaching," "excellence in research," and "care for our society." Under the guidance of these three tenets, we strive to provide first class and high quality environments for innovation and learning for our faculty and students, with a view toward cultivating elites and innovative talents for our society. In our pursuit of excellence, we specially emphasize the importance of liberal education, basing our values on the humanistic attainments of our students. Furthermore, as a pioneer and benchmark setter for Taiwan and the Chinese world, we also attach special importance to the all embracing and pluralistic contents of teaching and research. As a rule, we endeavor to achieve a dynamic balance between the humanities and the scientific disciplines, between general education and professional education, between basic studies and actual applications, between local issues and global issues, and between university and the society. The 21st century ushers in a new age in which globalization and knowledge-based economy are of critical importance to all, as one of the few universities in the world which benefits from the heritage of traditional Chinese culture and the influence of Western cultures, NTU is obligated to achieve an innovative merger of the two in combination with its global perspective, so that our great university will once again become the navigator in the recreation of the Chinese world.

In the rapidly changing global environments of today, NTU faces drastically different challenges than before. In recent years, NTU set an active and concrete goal for itself, which was to become "top in Asia, and first in the world." With this goal in mind, NTU will continue to march toward the international arena. What is particularly worth mentioning is that we set up the "NTU Center for Art Promotion," whose purpose was to build a campus laden with the atmosphere of art and humanities. All these multifarious efforts display the vivacious energy and the kinetic power of our university, ensuring that NTU will soon become an important research center of the world.

Today, as I stand here behind this rostrum, I want to express our highest respects to our outstanding alumni whose stellar performances in academics, commerce, industry, and social services serve as paragons of virtue which epitomize the core values to which we adhere.

In this historical moment as we celebrate the eightieth anniversary of the founding of our great university, members of the NTU community should join hands and work more closely together to make the greatest possible contributions to the self renewal of Taiwan and mankind.

In conclusion, let us congratulate NTU on its happy birthday, and may I humbly wish a healthy body and prosperous future for all our distinguished guests, faculty and students. Thank you all!!

Chinese version