On September 30, Yenching Academy threw a welcome party for the Eight Cohort Scholars arriving on campus who had missed the opening ceremony due to the pandemic. In the warmth of the Fall season, arguably Beijing’s best season, our new arrivals joined the YCA family and had heartfelt talks about friendship and their expectations for the future. Their smiles gleamed and shone like the warm autumn sunshine that lightened the flowers and trees in Jingyuan Courtyards 2 and 3.
YCA Dean Dong Qiang kindheartedly welcomed our newcomers. “Your arrival has instilled so much energy in the campus and our beautiful Jingyuan; looking at your young and excited faces, this old courtyard feels so alive today,” the Dean stated. Prof. Dong was deeply touched by our Scholars’ efforts to travel to the Peking University campus for their studies despite the pandemic-related control measures. He expressed his hope to see their unremitting efforts at the Academy. Dean Dong also appreciated his team’s persistence and hard work, highlighting that “YCA staff deserved our heartfelt gratitude for what they’ve done for the students.”
Prof. Dong recalled his surprise at learning that the term Paris University was a collective name for thirteen universities. Université Paris 8, where he studied, was one of the thirteen. He noted, with a keen sense of humor, that “you [YCA Scholars] can be reassured because Peking University is one and only; so too will be your unique experiences at Yenching Academy.”
Enjoying the party in the garden, Dean Dong thought about the “Garden” exhibition of ethnic clothing around the world in the Creative Booth at Jingyuan Courtyard 4. He hoped that the Creative Booth could serve as a stage where our Scholars have their creativity fully tapped, expressed, and appreciated by the YCA family and the Peking University community. In this way, the YCA family will grow into an ever-better place of fascinating, original ideas.
Matthew Kelly (Ireland) and Ann Hermann (USA) from the 2022 Cohort talked about their feelings at first sight of the Academy. They extended cordial gratitude towards our staff and students for their support and assistance. Likewise, both Scholars anticipated the office’s continued efforts to help other new arrivals adapt to life at Peking University.
Daryl Lahm (Singapore): My fellow students and teachers at YCA are my dearest at Peking University. People are the best part of my life at YCA. Thanks to all my fellow students and teachers. They helped me with all campus-access formalities. And thank you all for this party.
Iona Branford (UK): It’s brilliant to meet my classmates face-to-face on campus. Finally, we can sit together in class, have meals, and have fun. They’re only ordinary things. But they make me happy.
From every impression of the hand grows a good wish for the future. You’re always welcome anytime, anywhere, anyway. Our young YCA Scholars come from around the globe to join the YCA family, setting off on a new journey and seeing their aspirations fulfilled.