Balled Concert held for Soochow's 120th Anniversary

On the morning of May 19th, the ballad concert for the launching ceremony of the 120th anniversary and 2018 homecoming for alumni themed “Gazing at the coming 120th anniversary and embracing a new beginning” was held in the Chrysanthemum Auditorium of the Main campus. Together with all the guests presented, the representatives of alumni, and thousands of teachers and students, some school leaders, including Jiang Yong, XiongSidong, Lu Jianmei, Deng Min, Yang Yixin, Rui Guoqiang, Chen Weichang, Zhou Gao, Liu Biao and Zhang Xiaohong, attended the event and witnessed the launching moment of the 120th school anniversary of Soochow University.


 On behalf of all the teachers and students, President XiongSidong extended a cordial welcome to all the alumni who returned to the school. As the first speaker at the event, President Xiong also expressed his heartfelt thanks for the alumni’s concerns and supports to the construction and development of the university. In a humorous way, he analyzed the subtle changes from the identity of a student to an alumnus. by listing a group of statistics, Xiong briefly introduced the university’s achievements in the scale of schooling, the structure of students and teachers, the quality of education, scientific researchers, community service, and the progress of internationalization. Stepping into a new era, the institution, by following Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, would endeavor to grow into a high-level research-oriented university that could be accepted by the people, acknowledged by the international counterparts and respected by the world. As the most intimate friends of Soochow University, our alumni, according to President Xiong, are always welcomed to come back home no matter where they might be. Given the university would embrace the 120th anniversary in 2020, he sincerely hoped that all the graduates of the university at home and abroad could return to the picturesque campus and create new dreams while recalling those memories and appreciating the school scenery together with all the students and teachers.


 Constituted by three chapters, namely, Profundity, Integrity and Vision, the concert, by displaying the historical profundity, current development and future outlook of the university, narrated the stories of the university, the spirits and values of the institution and the reform achievements of the organization in the forms of solemn ceremonies, in-depth interviews, and brilliant art performances.


At the warm-up phase, the event witnessed the performance of the Brass Orchestra of the School of Music, and the Anthem of Soochow University and the Joy of The Snowflake sung by teachers and students of Soochow University-Shazhou Yellow Wine Teachers’ Chorus and Dongwu Art Chorus. Performed by Hu Yijia and other nine alumni,the Kunqu Opera named the Peony Pavilion-Visiting the Garden-the Tune of Zaoluopao arose the nostalgia of many graduates with its sweet melody and attractive rhetoric. Graduated from the Department of Foreign Languages in 1989, Gong Yuan, the famous tenorist denoted the university in his heart with the well-known Italian song O Sole Mio. Together with four students from the School of Music, Mr. Shao Lvwei and Ms. Wang Xiaohong sang a medley of campus songs and brought back the alumni’s memories about the school days with their beautiful voices. In the form of flute solo, Associate Professor Clara Novakova manifested the beauty of Soochow University with the melody of Spring Dances. After overcoming various hardships in their career and life, He Jifang, Qian Ying, Qian Yun and other six alumni performed the dance Youth. Graduated in 2001, Chu Hua and Zhou Enwei, the alumni who recited the poem Romance Endowed by Heaven 18 years ago in the 100thanniversary ceremony of the university, now brought the New Romance Endowed by Heaven to the stage of the event and expressed the alumni’s deep affections toward the university with the very poem. By inspiring all the attendees with dynamic movements and passionate enthusiasm, the dance Inspiring the Oriental performed by the Dance Group of Dongwu Art Troupe has pushed the atmosphere of event to a climax.


 As one of the founders and the president of the Chinese Association of Southampton, Ms. Hua Ping, a performer in the Kunqu opera aforementioned and a graduate in 1982, has made great contribution to the promotion of Chinese Arts and Culture in the U.K. in the past decade. Though living in Europe, as a faithful follower of the Wu Culture and Soochow University, she still decided to return to the university and attend the performance and related rehearsals without hesitation as she learned that the university would hole a 118th anniversary ceremony. 


“As one appreciates the beauty of flowers, he will miss the gardener the most”. At the ballad concert, the university has held a retirement ceremony for those teachers who would retire this year. Altogether, 38 retired teachers have been awarded with retirement certificates by Secretary Jiang Yong and President XiongSidong on the stage of the ceremony.


Meanwhile, President XiongSidong also conferred seven flags to the new sub-branches of the Alumni Association of Soochow University at the ballad concert. Till the very moment, the number of these subbranches has reached 67, and an excellent platform for communication and resource sharing has been built among the university and different alumni.


At the launching ceremony of the 120th anniversary, Secretary Jiang Yong expressed in his address that the university should maintain three standards in the preparation process of the coming 120th anniversary. Firstly, the university should pay attention to the quality of schooling. By sticking to a people-oriented philosophy, the institution shall review the schooling experience and excellent traditions in the past 120 years, especially those experience and traditions in talent cultivation. Secondly, the university should focus on the depth of development. By taking advantage of the 120th anniversary ceremony, we should probe into the history of the university and different schools, disciplines, and programs, and figure out the real spirits of Soochow University during the process. By giving priority to academic development, the institution shall hold a series of high-quality academic activities and make contributions to the implementation of the Double Top University Plan, and the construction of a top domestic institute and a world-class research-oriented university. Thirdly, the university shall show its warmth to all the alumni. As a giant organization merged by several different colleges and universities, Soochow University shall serve as the permanent harbor and spiritual home of our alumni and leave a discrimination-free land for all the graduates. In this case, priorities should be offered to the old instead of the rich on the reception day.


 Along with cheers and applauses of all the attendees, the school leaders, alumnus and student representatives, and all the guests, students, and teachers witnessed the launching moment of the 120th anniversary ceremony of Soochow University. Afterwards, Emma Cao, the excellent young singer and a graduate of the university in 2005, brought the concert to an end with the song named Blessing for Love. Gazing at the coming 120th anniversary and embracing a new beginning, let’s look forward to the terrific 2020.


 On the homecoming day, different simultaneously-running activities has drawn the attention of many alumni, including the Tasty Campus Food, the Parent-Child Party for Alumni, the Book Shelf for Alumni, the Academical-Wearing Photo-Taking, the Interaction Show of Clubs, Museum Visiting, the Eternal Affection Alumni Forest, the Glory Exhibition at Tokyo Trials (Tour Exhibition in Soochow University), and the first innovation and entrepreneurship competition for our alumni in the world.