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Date: 2020/6/15

NTU’s Class of 2020 - You Are One of a Kind. Congratulations to You All!

As summer approaches, some of our students are getting ready to leave the campus and embark on their adventures toward career success. NTU held the 2020 Commencement Ceremony at the NTU Sports Center on June 6. This year, a total of 1,198 people attended the ceremony, including 523 graduates and 675 parents. Despite the smaller number of attendees allowed for the event due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the attending graduates and parents were as excited and invigorated. The parents, faculty, and university executives offered their wishes and celebrated with the graduates with joy and pride.

In the opening address, President Chung-Ming Kuan (管中閔) noted how the NTU community experienced a very different spring in 2020, as the pandemic altered our behavioral patterns and social formation. Many industries were also impacted by the pandemic, especially those involving face-to-face interpersonal interactions. Remote working and learning will become the new norm in the future. President Kuan reminded everyone of how astoundingly fast the world has been changing. With COVID-19 serving as the driving force of even more changes, the students are sure to encounter new challenges after graduation.

“In the post-COVID-19 era, never forget to care for others and the society while maintaining your enthusiasm,” said President Kuan. Caring words and actions would build rapport and shorten the psychological distance among one another, thereby upholding a close social structure.

Acknowledging the inevitability of globalization, President Kuan underscored the importance of cultural quotient (CQ) for one to thrive in the era of globalization. CQ evaluates one’s capability of understanding different cultures as well as mutual respect and adaptation. President Kuan emphasized that, instead of only focusing on improving one’s foreign language skills and international competitiveness, one needs to cultivate the ability to appreciate different cultures so as to cope with the trend of globalization.

The commencement speaker of this year was Dr. Taiyin Young (楊台瑩), an NTU alumna of chemistry who graduated in 1974 and later obtained a PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Southern California. She is currently the Executive Vice President of Pharmaceutical Development and Manufacturing at Gilead Sciences, Inc. One of the most well-known recent developments led by Dr. Young was “Remdesivir,” a drug used to treat Ebola, which has shown equally favorable clinical results in the application to the treatment of COVID-19, offering a possible solution to the pandemic.

Dr. Young encouraged the graduates to take challenges with confidence, enthusiasm, perseverance, and openness of mind when having unlimited career choices and opportunities at hand. Citing her own career experience, Dr. Young stressed that only bravery and the courage to confront difficulties when in adversity can lead one to the light of success. “Never get beaten spiritually, and hang in there. Your future in in your hand.” Dr. Young also highlighted the importance to uphold one’s moral standards and maintain good interpersonal relationships in workplace, as these help to build trust, which is essential to effective leadership and teamwork.

This year, two graduates took the stage to present their commencement speeches. One was Tzu-Hsuan Li (李慈萱) of the Department of Law, and the other was Achille Wendyam Tapsoba (艾家齊) of the Department of Civil Engineering. Li joined hands with her like-minded schoolmates to launch NTU Tutor Team, a project dedicated to offering tutorials to help financially disadvantaged senior high school students to prepare for college entrance examinations. Although this year’s graduation season was different from previous years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the graduating students were as optimistic and excited, with everyone looking forward to gaining new skills, growing stronger, and serving the society after graduation.

Achille, the other student commencement speaker, was from Burkina Faso, one of the world’s poorest countries. He shared the experiences of how he overcame language barriers and the obstacles rising after Taiwan broke diplomatic ties with his homeland. Facing a multitude of challenges, Achille earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and gained precious experiences through various international and club activities at NTU. He encouraged the graduates to meet difficulties and rise up to challenges with positive attitudes.

At the close of the ceremony, the graduates waved rather than tossed their caps for the first time in history, so as to avoid picking up others’ caps and increasing the risk of COVID-19 infection, marking a memorable moment for this year’s graduation season.

  • The graduates wave rather than toss their caps for the first time in history to avoid picking up others’ caps and increasing the risk of COVID-19 infection.

    The graduates wave rather than toss their caps for the first time in history to avoid picking up others’ caps and increasing the risk of COVID-19 infection.

  • NTU’s 2020 commencement speaker, Dr. Young, addresses all the participants at the ceremony.

    NTU’s 2020 commencement speaker, Dr. Young, addresses all the participants at the ceremony.

  • NTU President Kuan hands diplomas to graduate student representatives.

    NTU President Kuan hands diplomas to graduate student representatives.

  • Student commencement speakers: Tzu-Hsuan Li (left) and Achille Wendyam Tapsoba (right).

    Student commencement speakers: Tzu-Hsuan Li (left) and Achille Wendyam Tapsoba (right).

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