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2015 Commencement: Maintaining Curiosity, Personal Integrity, and Sportsmanship While Treading the Road to Success
On June 13 NTHU held two commencements;one for new baccalaureates and the other for graduate students. Inspiring commencement addresses were provided by Jaclyn Tsai, Minister of the Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs, and Chou Chun-Chi, Chairman of Sinyi Realty. This year NTHU awarded 1,694 bachelor degrees, 1,547 master degrees, and 329 doctorates.
 
In his address President Hong Hocheng encouraged the graduating students to approach life with the spirit of a true sportsman, for whom the most important thing is not who wins, but how one plays the game—making one’s best effort, and respecting and learning from the other competitors. Thus a true sportsman cares about fair play, teamwork, and respect the rules of the game.
 
President Hocheng went on to say that being a true sportsman means persevering against the odds. If life were such that everything always went exactly as planned, it would lose much of its meaning and become rather boring. We have to accept that there will always be some discrepancy between our expectations and how things actually turn out. Thus we have to be willing to take not only risks, but also responsibility for our decisions and actions; this makes life more meaningful.
 
In her address Minister Tsai mentioned that although her son graduated from NTHU’s Department of Power Mechanical Engineering ten years ago, he did not become an engineer. Instead, he has set up website which uses virtual reality to promote tourism in Taiwan. Such cases of people working in fields other than what they studied at university should be taken as a positive sign, for they indicate that higher education is fulfilling its most important purpose—teaching people to think creatively and independently. While encouraging the graduating students to realize their dreams and to strive on with diligence, Minister Tsai pointed out the importance of curiosity as a motivating force for exploration and innovation.
 
In his address Chou shared his experience of founding Sinyi Realty and pointed out that ethics, morals, and treating others with respect are essential for a successful career. The true measure of success is not how much fame and fortune one has gained, but what one has accomplished in promoting the happiness of one’s fellow human beings. Emphasizing that true success brings happiness to others, Chou stated that success comes from empathy, helping others succeed, and treating others as you would like them to treat you. He also mentioned that a virtuous and benevolent person—the ideal put forth by Confucius some 2,500 years ago—will most likely be a successful person, for he has no enemies. Indeed, anyone who possesses unshakable personal integrity is already a success.
 
Representative of the graduating graduate students Cheng Wen-chi gave an address in which he stated that he regarded NTHU as a “palace of knowledge” where he also learned about the importance of humility and emulating the strengths of others. He also stated that while he found graduate school to be harder than he expected, the many hardships he faced were actually an essential part of the learning experience. Representative of the graduating undergraduates, Su Kuan-yu, reminded her classmates to always remember NTHU school motto—Self-discipline and social commitment. She also encouraged everyone to persevere in the face of adversity and to be as generous and kind as the Earth in everything we say and do.
 
During the ceremony the Mei Yi-Chi Memorial Medal—NTHU’s highest academic honor—was awarded to seven undergraduates: Yu Chia-ying of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences; Lu Cheng-wei of the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Environmental Sciences; Hsu Tzu-Hsiang of the Department of Electrical Engineering; Chang Yu-shan of the Department of Engineering and System Science; Cheng Shao-chi of the Department of Chemical Engineering; Feng Sheng-fu of the College of Life Sciences; and Yang Hui-ru of the Department of Chinese Literature.
 
President Hong Hocheng exhorting the graduating students to approach life with the spirit of a true sportsman.

President Hong Hocheng exhorting the graduating students to approach life with the spirit of a true sportsman.

Minister Jaclyn Tsai encouraging graduates to remain curious as they explore the world.

Minister Jaclyn Tsai encouraging graduates to remain curious as they explore the world.

President Hocheng in a group photo with graduates.

President Hocheng in a group photo with graduates.

Chairman Chou Chun-Chi stressing that personal integrity is essential for achieving true success.

Chairman Chou Chun-Chi stressing that personal integrity is essential for achieving true success.

Graduating members of the NTHU Chorus posing in front of The Thinker.

Graduating members of the NTHU Chorus posing in front of The Thinker.

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