Recently, the sun rose on a beautiful sunny day for the BRS Class of 2020 Commencement Ceremony on campus and online. The BRS graduates enjoyed a graduation ceremony which embodied a magnificent culmination of their high school studies. After the long period of school closure due to COVID-19 and also while observing strict COVID-19 safety measures currently in place, it took a huge, concerted effort from our school staff to organize this event in such a short period of time.
Beijing Royal School’s annual, traditional coming-of-age ceremony was held at the Confucius Statue Square. This ceremony exemplifies Han etiquette and symbolizes ushering graduating students towards adulthood. The ceremony also affirms each graduate’s commitment and promise to fulfil their duties and responsibilities as adults with the support and guidance of those surrounding them.
With many members of our community still outside Beijing due to travel restrictions, this year’s graduation ceremony was livestreamed to maximize the number of people who could join in this celebration. Our distinguished guests were Andreas Schleicher, Director for the Directorate of Education and Skills OECD; Fengchun Miao, Chief of Information and Technology in Education in the headquarters of UNESCO; and Shing-Tung Yau, William Caspar Graustein Professor of Mathematics at Harvard University. Although our distinguished guests were unable to attend physically, they addressed the graduates via video, congratulating them on their university acceptance and encouraging them to achieve greater success in the future.
Also offering words of encouragement and congratulations via video were admission officers from many world-renowned universities such as Tulane University in the United States, the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom, Queen’s University in Canada and BRS alumni. Graduate representative Wang Xiaoyue, the Grade 12 Year Leader Ms. Hou Juan and parent representative Dr. Du Xiangwan delivered their speeches on-site in person.
Ms. Hou Juan, the Grade 12 Year Leader, explained the simple meaning of life by quoting British philosopher Bertrand Russell: “Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind.” She encouraged graduates to trust their inner voice and regard lifelong learning as the best way for them to help build the world into a better place for all.
One highlight of the ceremony was the speech from Principal of School, Wang Guangfa, who shared thoughts and blessings with the 275 graduates via remote connection. Principal Wang emphasized his profound perspective on the day’s importance in each graduate’s life and future endeavours. He reminded everyone that we are connected to what is happening in the world, including world events, current challenges to mankind, advances in technology, and other important areas. He urged our students to use critical thinking and multi-faceted perspectives when faced with ever-evolving international relations. He encouraged the graduates to persevere down the road leading to the future despite the difficulties and obstacles; to develop an in-depth understanding of the power of science and technology; to master the most cutting-edge information technology of the time; and to prepare for the new era and evolution of comprehensive education.
Mr. Cen Jianjun, the former Minister Counselor (education) for the Embassy of China in the United States, was on site at BRS and awarded honorary certificates to outstanding graduates. He also shared three potentialities for all graduates in his speech: “I hope that students will make study a habit, will develop integrity as a lifelong strength, and will offer gratitude to others as a permanent responsibility.” Counselor Cen encouraged students to embrace their next stage in life with dreams and aspirations and to kindle the fire of their talents for our nation to light up the global stage.
Congratulations to our graduating seniors of Beijing Royal School (BRS)! Enjoy happy new adventures! We will remember you always with great affection because “once a BRS’er, always a BRS’er”!