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Long-term Values Stressed at this Year’s Commencement
The commencement for graduate students was held in the morning of June 4th, with speeches delivered by NTHU president Hocheng Hong and Professor Shih Chin-tay, both of whom happened to stress the importance of having proper values. President Hocheng said that those who achieve their goals are those who have long-term values and hold fast to them even though others may be moving in a different direction. Shih, the founding dean of the College of Technology Management, reminded the graduates that "Innovation has to go hand-in-hand with integrity, and development has to have a clear sense of direction."
 
President Hocheng said that holding proper long-term values gives a person something to rely on and a sense of direction and meaning in life. He also said that lots of recent graduates get caught up in chasing after fame and fortune, but the one-sided pursuit of such short-term values tends towards anxiety, indecision, and discontentment. Thus he exhorted this year’s graduates to select long-term values that accord with the principles of justice and moral integrity, which in the long run conduce to peace of mind.
 
Professor Shih was invited to offer a blessing to the graduates. He said that while serving as the president of the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) his focus was on technology, but that after coming to NTHU he became more concerned about how to use technology to make life better. For Shih, technological innovation is only meaningful when it is guided by positive human values, so that we use technology to fulfill genuine human needs, rather than becoming its unwitting slaves.
 
Shih also reminded the graduates that to keep Taiwan’s economy competitive, it is important to continually update one’s professional knowledge, since in this rapidly changing world “what you learned at school might quickly be superseded by something new.”
 
The commencement ceremony for undergraduate students was held at the Main Auditorium in the evening. The commencement address was delivered by distinguished NTHU graduate Joseph Huang, CEO of the E. SUN Commercial Bank. Huang said that a good way to understand yourself is by observing your parents, since most people are more like their parents than they might imagine—or would like to admit—due to their genetic inheritance and/or the imperceptible influence of growing up in a certain family.
 
To illustrate this idea, Huang said that in his junior year at NTHU, one day his father came to campus to look for him, and some of his classmates ran over to him and said, “Joseph, a professor wants to see you!" In fact, his father had only studied business from an early age, and never attained a high level of formal education. So when he heard from his son about this case of mistaken identity, he had a smile on his face for the rest of the year. Huang added that even though he’s a banker, new acquaintances often guess that he’s a teacher. Some 30 years ago Huang graduated from NTHU’s Department of Power Mechanical Engineering, but later moved to the financial industry, and recently received NTHU’s Outstanding Alumni Award. His advice to the new graduates was to master the compass of life by knowing yourself and following your heart.
 
In addition to observing your parents, Huang offered a number of other tips for gaining self-understanding, including asking friends’ advice and daring to move outside of your “comfort zone,” adding that, “the best job you can get is the one that it will bring you happiness, zest, and a sense of fulfillment.” This year the Mei Yichi Memorial Medal—NTHU’s highest academic honor—was awarded to eight students: Chen Chihwei of the Interdisciplinary Program of Life Science; Huang Jingwen of the Department of Mathematics; Lin Yuanting of the Department of Electrical Engineering; Catherine Chang of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literature; Chan Yuhsin of the Department of Physics; Liu Yahan of the Double Specialty Program of Management and Technology; Liao Yijun of the Department of Chemical Engineering; and Li Yuzhe of the Department of Engineering and System Science.
 
The ceremony at the Nanda Campus was held in the afternoon, during which each graduating student was presented with a seal carved with the student’s name and embossed with “NTHU” and “NHCUE” on opposite sides. During the ceremony each graduate opened a letter they had written to themselves four years earlier expressing their hopes and expectations for the future. The ceremony concluded with the singing of both school anthems.
 
Another highlight of the ceremony was the awarding of this year’s "Life Champion Award" to Yan Manru, who graduated this year from the Department of Environmental and Cultural Resources. Ten years ago Yan lost both legs and suffered severe burns on her hands and face in a fire which killed her elder brother. In her acceptance speech Yan said that although she looks different from others, this hasn’t stopped her from gaining all sorts of unexpected insights. She thanked her classmates for making her feel like part of the group, and her parents for being by her side during the long and arduous rehabilitation process, during which time she had to wear compression garments to prevent the scars from proliferating, even on really hot days, making “a second feel like a year.” Following Yan’s acceptance speech her parents came on stage, and as she gave her father a big hug while her mother tearfully looked on, everyone broke into a loud round of applause.
 
The class of 2017.

The class of 2017.

NTHU president Hocheng Hong stressed the importance of long-term values.

NTHU president Hocheng Hong stressed the importance of long-term values.

Professor Shih Chin-tay pointed out that

Professor Shih Chin-tay pointed out that "Innovation has to go hand-in-hand with personal integrity.”

Joseph Huang, CEO of the E. SUN Commercial Bank, emphasized the importance of self-understanding.

Joseph Huang, CEO of the E. SUN Commercial Bank, emphasized the importance of self-understanding.

Graduate Yan Manru, recipient of this year’s Life Champion Award, on stage with her parents.

Graduate Yan Manru, recipient of this year’s Life Champion Award, on stage with her parents.

Graduates at the Nanda Campus reading the letters they had written to themselves four years earlier expressing their hopes and expectations for the future.

Graduates at the Nanda Campus reading the letters they had written to themselves four years earlier expressing their hopes and expectations for the future.

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