[Press release provided by the College of English and International Studies] The graduation ceremony for the 2019 academic year of Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages took place in the auditorium. This ceremony differed from previous ceremonies. The team led by the President chose to personally confer hoods and diplomas, while turning the tassels for every graduate. The ceremony was held for graduates to receive the full blessing and advice from faculty and parents at this important life moment to stay positive during the coronavirus crisis.
The campus was surrounded by blooming golden shower in June. Five graduation ceremonies were held for different programs in response to the coronavirus crisis. In addition to the Graduation Investiture Ceremony that carries two meanings: Gratitude and Assignment, the 2020 Outstanding Alumni Award Ceremony was held to recognize recipients. The graduation ceremony featured the theme: Tomorrow Is Mine with Believe and Do Not Lose Heart and Hope extracted from St. Angela’s fifth counsel. The theme represented that graduates will confidently tell the world that a new start begins and tomorrow is mine with the blessing and spirit of Wenzao; they deeply believe that they can demonstrate what they have learned to fearlessly step into society and build a bright future for themselves. They became stronger and developed enough courage for this adventure thanks to their caring teachers and parents’ instructions. Wenzao also hopes that students stop worrying about people’s opinions and move forward with hope and courage to explore the world in a self-assured manner.
President Chen gave a speech in English. She said, “15 Years ago, because of SARS, our graduates then were unable to have their commencement. This year, our students from China, Hong Kong, Japan and Korea also are not able to come back to join us on this momentous occasion. But, we will keep a place for them in our hearts. When we were deciding if we should have a commencement for our graduates in this pandemic crisis, without hesitation, we said “yes” because we believe that no matter what is happening we have the strength to remain optimistic. We want to give you a treasured moment in life that you can bring into your future as a token of Wenzao Ursuline support. After today, students of the Wenzao 2020 Graduation are going to be full-grown independent beings, ready for the new stage of life as you can see from the title, ‘Tomorrow is mine.’ Ever since the beginning of this year, we have been living under the threat of the novel coronavirus. But, the pandemic has brought a blessing in disguise. When you move forward courageously, please remember the strengths that support you from behind. As the words of St. Angela encourage us – Believe and do not lose heart and hope.’ Finally, on behalf of all faculty, I wish you a promising journey in life and shine through the trying times with your perseverance and excellence.”
.As usual, Wenzao gave out awards, includingTaiwan Christian Universities and Colleges Alliance Award, St. Ursula Service Award, St. Angela Service Award and Outstanding Academic Performance Award, at the graduation ceremony. The recipient of the Taiwan Christian Universities and Colleges Alliance Award was Meng-Yun Tsai of fifth-year Class A of the 5-year junior college program under the Department of Spanish. She said, “It is my greatest honor to receive the Taiwan Christian Universities and Colleges Alliance Award after five years of study. While it does not give me a promising future, it is the best way to recognize my hard work. I also believe that “where there’s a will, there’s a way.” My belief reflects the graduation theme: Tomorrow Is Mine. We can confidently and fearlessly overcome any challenge in the future and obtain positive results as long as we have hope and goals and are committed to fulfilling dreams.”
Mu-Han Chen, a student of the Department of Translation and Interpreting, accepted St. Ursula Service Award. She accumulated 702 hours of service during her studies. She said, “My palms are always facing down. I love to serve others. I actively participated in various types of service activities during my four years of studies. I served as a volunteer in Cambodia and at Veterans General Hospital and summer camps. I deeply realized that helping others makes me so happy whenever I take part in a volunteering activity. I not only communicated with people from different backgrounds, but also broadened my vision. It is my great honor to receive the St. Ursula Service Award.”
St. Angela Service Award was given to Kuan-Ling Liu of fifth-year Class A of the 5-year junior college program under the Department of Japanese for her outstanding performance. She said, “I put a lot of effort into voluntary service during my five years of studies. I learned the spirit of service through volunteering activities and use it in daily life. My experience in reception service and leadership helped me become independent and more sophisticated. I am not a shy and unskilled girl anymore. I would like to thank myself for courageously getting out of my comfort zone and starting on the volunteering journey. I became what I am today after participating in different activities and gaining a wealth of experience. I will continue to discover my potential and challenge myself in the spirit of service for the next milestone in my life, in order to play a useful role in society.”
Lucy Tikitha is a student from Malawi in Africa, and has studied in the Department of Applied Chinese. She said, “I was worried about my poor Chinese when I first came to Wenzao. I was scared that no one would talk to me. However, I was glad that students and teachers welcomed me with open arms. The friendliness shown to me was heartwarming. Teachers and students were all willing to support me to finish my homework and answer questions in class. I have acquired a lot of knowledge during my four years of studies. I will put what I have learned into practice after going back to Malawi. Teachers at Wenzao genuinely care about students, regardless of where they come from. Teachers and classmates make my study life more meaningful and valuable. I feel reassured that I made the right decision to study at Wenzao.”
The father of a graduate, Kuan-Ling Liu, said, “I appreciate the teachers and classmates’ support during her studies. My little girl has become a big girl in five years. I have witnessed her growth in different areas. She learned how to get along with students from different places during the first two years of her studies. In the third and fourth years of her studies, she joined student organizations to participate in various activities and fill senior positions. She has developed planning skills and realized that objections will always be raised in any group. She has learned how to identify and solve problems via communication and facilitation. We were impressed by her planning skills after she planned a number of family trips to Japan. We visited Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto, Kumamoto in Kyushu, and Ryukyu. Thank you, Kuan-Ling! She and her close friends supported each other to cope with academic stress in the fifth year of her studies, and set more specific goals for the future. I would like to express my gratitude to her classmates and teachers who helped her become a confident person. Kuan-Ling, you are the best! Your mom and I are very proud of you! We hope that you can create a bright future from your original intention to study at Wenzao.”
It rains whenever Wenzao holds a graduation ceremony. The rain still comes down even the graduation date is rescheduled. Although we say goodbye in the rain, everyone keeps in mind the first two lines of Wenzao anthem: “Language is the bearer of the ways and the holy offerings rise to heaven.” Wenzao always follows its motto, “revere the divine, love the human”, to educate students. Students are expected to shine with the spirit of Wenzao in the future. The President accurately described this graduation ceremony. She mentioned in her speech that every graduating student is truly the main figure of today’s ceremony. Large-scale art installations on campus, including I ❤ WZU and 幸福文藻 (Happiness at Wenzao), and cute graduation-themed dolls were popular photo and check-in spots for graduates and parents. Wenzao hopes that everyone has a happy student life and becomes our strongest support and greatest pride with other alumni living in the five continents of the world. Tomorrow is mine. We are Wenzaorians.