Today we celebrate the eighth birthday of the Yenching Academy of Peking University.
YCA is a young department located on the Western axis of the ancient Peking University campus. There is no better time than now to read in fragrant shades of Chinese wisteria in early summer: We have seen tender green buds grow into drooping clusters of bluish-purple flowers every May and June for the past eight years. Likewise, the Academy has hosted hundreds of young men and women from around the world during this period, creating collective memories, sharing hearty laughter, and tirelessly contributing to the Academy’s growth.
Since inception, Yenching Scholars have always studied together and resided at the Shaoyuan dormitory on the PKU campus. However, the pandemic in the last two years has prevented many scholars from arriving in China. Despite the physical distance and travel restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, our Scholars have been able to create bonds and life-long friendships in courses and curricular events. Our classrooms have been enlarged beyond the Jingyuan Garden, and our curricular activities have been held in several places around the world – the on-campus Shaoyuan dormitory, Berlin, London, Singapore, and many other places around the globe, wherever our Scholars find themselves.
Our Scholars and alumni sent their best wishes to the Academy from all over the world. They expressed how much they missed the Academy, gratitude to our teachers, and sincere wishes for our future.
YCA will continue to bridge gaps between cultures as it has done since its founding. The Academy has attributed its achievements to its teachers and enthusiastic Scholars. We expect a reunion of our Scholars at the Academy in the near future as the COVID-19 situation wanes worldwide.
We look forward to meeting one another in Jingyuan on the more charming spring days next year, filled with spring breezes that bring warmth and new life.
Lastly, we are grateful for your attention to and support of the Yenching Academy. Your continued support in the future would be much appreciated.