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Our Spiritual Home and Garden of Growth—A Meeting between PKU President and Students

Peking University, Beijing, November 10, 2008: PKU President Xu Zhi Hong and the representatives of the Student body all attended the forum “Our Spiritual Home and Garden of Growth” which was held on November 6th. An order of commendation was presented to Gao Ming, undergraduate student from Guanghua School of Management from the class of 2003.

Gao Ming was the first student from PKU to participate in the University Conscription System since it was established. After being enlisted, Gao Ming continued to have high expectations for himself in both his studies and daily training, wining titles like “outstanding soldier” and “Elite Party Member”, setting an example for all university students and also bringing glory to PKU. After Gao Ming’s brave move, three other students followed in his footsteps in 2007. Because of this, PKU has decided to issue the order of commendation.

After receiving the award from President Xu, Gao expressed his gratitude towards the school for all those years caring and investment in him. Gao explained that he will continue with his studies and keep his “patriotism towards the China”, always looking for ways to tie his personal growth this the country’s needs to make more of himself for China.

Students present at the forum include representatives of PKU original musical “Grabbing top-notch Universities from the Shower Hall”, students from the School of Arts Department, Department of Philosophy, Department of Sociology, Beijing Olympics and Paralympic “Outstanding Volunteer”, President of PKU Mountaineering Association, 9th annual University Extracurricular Technological Academic Competition “Challenge Cup” Outstanding Award winner from the School of Governmental Management, President of the Student Union School of International Relations, President of Graduate School Student Union from the Institute of Technology, etc. who gave short speeches respectively. Their speeches shared the theme of how faculty members and students played roles in their time at PKU. And each student agreed that PKU provided a free yet compatible ambiance which provided the greatest stage for the each and every student. Deputy Secretary Zhang Yan made a conclusion for all the speeches, wishing that all students would be able to grow and develop in their own way during their time in this garden: Peking University.

Afterwards, President Xu expressed his gratitude towards the student body for their care and support for PKU, he shared about all that he has received since he became President of the school. “I used to study botany, and I love how different each plant is, just like I enjoy the diversity of PKU. I see the school as a garden, which should provide the best soil for the growth of both the students and teachers. Each student in the school is like a seed. You may grow into an enormous tree, a nice strong bush, different types of flowers, or even just plain grass. But the school should provide the best growing environment depending on each student’s individual needs. If the university can meet those standards, then it has succeeded as a university.”

Upon seeing and hearing the different areas which students had achieved greatness, Xu felt very gratified. He proposed a few expectations for the student, to work on communication with others, to learn how to work as a team, and to emphasize training comprehensive qualities and international perspectives. We should cherish all the things that PKU has to offer, and make the most of our time here.

At the end of the seminar, the student body presented President Xu with two special presents. One of them was an original copy of the Peking University Youth paper printed on December 14th, 1999, which contained the first words that President Xu had written to the student body as President. The second gift was a hand made card, enclosed with a sketching of President Xu’s portrait and a DVD copy of the performances he had put on for the student body in the previous New Year parties.

Edited By : Wang Yi
Translated By : Connie Chang