On May 31st, 2019, the Yenching Academy of Peking University held the End of Year Celebration for the 2018-2019 academic year. Yuan Ming, Dean of the Yenching Academy, Associate Dean Fan Shiming, David Moser, and Assistant Dean Chen Changwei all attended the event. Jacob Hamel and Olivia Holder, 2018 Scholars from the United States, acted as moderators for the ceremony.
The event opened with a video slideshow which featured the highlights of the 2018-2019 academic year, as well as the experiences and achievements of the fourth cohort Scholars. It featured moments ranging from their arrival at Shaoyuan for registration day to their first class meeting; from the Shaanxi Field Trip in the fall to YCA Site Visits and Ambassador Talks; from the Yenching Social Innovation Forum to the Yenching Global Symposium; and from victories basketball and football matches to achievements in the PKU Sports Day. Scholars were very moved by these pictures of their first year journey at the Yenching Academy.
Later, Dean Yuan Ming delivered a speech and invited 2018 cohort Scholar Michael Chen from the US to translate for her. In her speech she commented on the greatest impressions that the 2018 Cohort had left on her. Firstly, she remarked on the YCA faculty’s commending of this cohort’s hardworking and serious attitude. Secondly, she praised the students’ creativity, citing the theme of the 2019 Yenching Global Symposium as an example. For this year’s conference, the executive committee chose “Wǒmen” as the title, a play on words between the word “women” in English and the word for “we” in Chinese. The event addressed issues pertaining to women and gender in China, and was one of the highlights of the 2018-2019 academic year. Thirdly, Dean Yuan Ming commented on the students’ outstanding results in sports competitions, and congratulated them for their multiple victories. All of these achievements, she said, set a high standard for the fifth cohort Scholars who will be joining the Yenching Academy next fall. Dean Yuan also thanked the people who have encouraged and supported the program, and congratulated 2018 scholars for their successful completion of their first year of study at YCA.
After Dean Yuan’s remarks, the event continued with the traditional award-giving ceremony, which grants YCA Scholars with distinctions for “Best Academic Performance” and “Outstanding Contribution” to the Yenching Academy. Associate Dean Fan Shiming and David Moser presented these awards to the students who had distinguished themselves for their academic achievement in class and in research, as well as in their participation in student-led activities and contributions to the community. Associate Dean Moser also praised the fourth cohort as a whole, and declared that they have proved themselves outstandingly cooperative and cohesive.
After the award-giving ceremony, Associate Dean Fan Shiming delivered a concluding speech. He first congratulated this year’s award winners, and further commended 2018 scholars for their efforts in “cheerleading” for their classmates, and their relentless encouragement and celebration of each other’s projects and achievements. He also remarked that, looking back on this year, the Yenching Academy has achieved great results in all areas, and thanked the staff and faculty of YCA for making such a success possible through their enthusiasm and hard work, and thanked the students for bringing fresh perspectives and ways of thinking to the Yenching Academy. Finally, he commented that each end is a new beginning expressed the hope that the friendship between the members of the YCA community will continue through time, and create more beautiful memories in the future.
At the end of the celebration, Scholars from the 2017 and 2018 cohorts delighted all attendees with a performance that brought together dance and music from all over the world. The show put together by these gifted scholars featured original creations ranging from a mesmerizing shadow dance (performed to the sound of pop music in a duet featuring a ukulele, a flute, and a soprano voice) to an outstanding group dance performance which included styles such as flamenco or funk. In such a display of talent and teamwork, the Yenching Academy’s End of Year Celebration of the 2018-2019 school year came to a successful conclusion.
2017-2018 Yenching Academy Award for Outstanding Academic Performance
Kourosh Houshmand, Michael Collins, Hannah Rose Kirk, Liang Kun, Angela Zhang, Lei Xuefei, Daniel Benson, Wesley Harfield, Zoe Jordan, Andreas Kyriakos, Federico Verly
2017-2018 Yenching Academy Award for Outstanding Contribution
Zoe Jordan, Olivia Holder, Wang Dong, Ankur Shah, Shriyam Gupta, Abdou Rahim Lema Mohamed, Jovana Bogojevic, Liang Kun, Alicia Rodriguez Alabarce, Liu Lu