Post-COVID, students celebrate graduation

Yang Meiping
As the COVID-19 pandemic wanes, graduates of universities can now have their offline commencements in the presence of their families.
Yang Meiping
SSI ļʱ

Shot by Yang Meiping. Edited by Yang Meiping. Subtitles by Yang Meiping.

As the COVID-19 pandemic wanes, graduates of universities can now have their offline commencements in the presence of their families.

On Saturday morning, more than 3,200 postgraduates of Shanghai Jiao Tong University attended their grand graduation ceremony, the first of its kind in the past three years, at the Fok Ying Tung Sports Center.

Most of the students are fresh graduates while some who graduated in the previous years went back to the campus to make up the commencement to draw a full stop to their study.

Liu Chang was an electric engineering major and received his PhD degree last year.

"Due to the pandemic, I didn't have a formal ceremony to celebrate my graduation last year," he told Shanghai Daily. "Fortunately, the pandemic is over and the university enables us to remedy it now."

Liu, a native of Xuzhou City in neighboring Jiangsu Province, invited his parents to the city on Friday to witness the important occasion, together with his wife.

From February, the university allows students, faculty and alumni to apply for entry for their relatives and friends.

"The commencement is important for me and I do hope my family can be with me at this important moment," he said.

Some graduates brought along their children, and one female doctoral student received a proposal from her boyfriend after she got the graduation certificate on the stage.

Ding Kuiling, the new president of the university, extended his congratulations to the graduates.

"You've got through the pandemic along with your study at Shanghai Jiao Tong University," he said. "I wish the hardships and afflictions during the process have enriched your life experience and enlightened you about responsibilities. I hope you will continue to act actively to changes and become history makers in the future."

Astronaut Nie Haisheng, who has served three space missions and graduated from Shanghai Jiao Tong with a PhD degree in 2020, delivered a speech at the Saturday ceremony.

He encouraged his fellow alumni to be confident and dream big, and be brave against all difficulties to keep moving forward and realize their dreams.

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