Love, help and sharing


Class of 2018, honored guests, dignitaries, professors, parents, friends, and relatives-it’s my honor to speak to all of you today on behalf of my fellow graduates and share the joy of this unique event. Today, we look back on our experience at WKU, reflect on the amazing journey we have all undertaken together and simultaneously, we also look to the future-how we, as people, as members of our community, as members of our nation have become better, braver, stronger and more productive.

I come from a small city in the middle of China. In my hometown, I had little access to English. So when I first came here four years ago, the first thing out of my mouth was “wow, look, it’s a foreigner!” The only thing I learned in my first class was the professor’s name. I would never have believed it If someone had said “four years later, you will give a speech at your graduation ceremony in English.” Yet, here I am! From day one WKU pushed me out of my comfort zone to challenge me in ways I had not experienced before. Thanks to my fellow students and professors, I pushed forward in this new environment, becoming better, braver, stronger, and more productive. This is my story; this is also the story of all WKU graduates here today who similarly broke through their doubts and self-limitations, expanding themselves to do greater things. WKU has given us the confidence to face a world of fast changes. With the knowledge we learned, we can and will achieve much greater things!

As a new university, it’s sometimes expressed that we do not have a comprehensive list of majors but in many ways it is a blessing in disguise. We have been fortunate enough to experience quality over quantity; we have enjoyed small student groups, generous personal tutorial time and freedom to explore. It has enabled us to find our inner passion and belief in our own abilities. It is in this qualitative environment that we have been encouraged to excel, to learn and to take lessons from occasional failures so that we come back stronger and more determined. This is a lesson of, and for, life.

I sometimes wonder how I would respond to the question: what is your greatest memory of WKU?” At first, I thought of how WKU expanded my view of the world in a multi-cultural environment. But it was not simply meeting people; it was not a single event or activity but a “sense”- the sense or sprit of “love, help and sharing”. It did not come from a textbook or exams but from the nature and humanity of all those sitting in front of me now. I remember how, during the application process, we all shared school information and resources and how we were really happy for each other when the offer came; I remember burning the midnight oil, preparing for finals, the support of friends lifting me up and keeping me going. I still remember the Professor Jerry‘s inspiring voice “why not? Let’s try!” I still remember Ms.D telling us “Be honest and be ethical”. When my resolve dipped or weakened so many people were there to help me along. Help and sharing, the demonstration of humanity, was always there. This will be my enduring memory.

Today is a very auspicious day-our 4 years journey with WKU is concluding and we the class of 2018, are about to leave but, excitingly, the journey of life is just about to commence. As Lao Tzu once said “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” Our first steps, of course, began with the love, care and commitment dedicated to us by our parents and family but WKU has helped us widen our stride and look to the far horizon, to see all the different paths that life’s journey could take us. On behalf of everyone here today, and all those who have supported us and continue to support us, thank you WKU- may the spirt of learning and developing, of being a better, stronger person, be ever with the class of 2018.