The University of Michigan – Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute (UM-SJTU JI, JI hereafter) kicked off 2023 JI Campus Culture and Arts Festival with a grand opening ceremony event held on the evening of March 5 at the Jing Jing Hall of SJTU Minhang Campus.

In his opening speech, JI Dean Chien-Pin Chen welcomed the attendees and introduced JI’s unique talent development model, focusing on international cooperation, leadership development, innovative education, and fostering a sense of patriotism. He quoted John Dewey, a psychologist, and an educational reformer, as saying, “Education is a process of living and not a preparation for future living,” emphasizing that education is not just about studies, exams, and GPAs. “University life is youthful, beautiful, and romantic,” said Chen who shared his own experiences as a college student and encouraged JI students to enjoy their life on campus and become positive, healthy, and beautiful individuals, and ultimately a person of value to society.

Live ensemble performance of violin and piano by Chien-Pin Chen and JI staff member Jacky Wei

An announcement on the establishment of JI Aesthetic Education Fund was also made during the event.  The fund aims to enrich the spiritual and cultural life of JIers and improve their aesthetic and artistic capabilities by supporting courses, activities and projects related to aesthetics. JI leaders including Chien-Pin Chen and Ming Yang presented certificates to three newly appointed aesthetic advisors including Fantao Zhang, Yuqing Ying, and Jiashi Yu.

JI Aesthetic Education Fund donators Guangshuo Liu and Yimei Fu deliver congratulatory speech via video

JI leaders present letters of appointment to aesthetic advisors

Fantao Zhang performs a ben canto song “No One Sleeps Tonight” and an excerpt from  the musical “Heart”

After the ceremony, JI students, staff and faculty members collaborated to present a colorful array of performances to enrich campus life and encourage more students to participate in artistic activities. The JI Arts and Culture Festival will also feature a series of activities such as the Top 10 Singer Competition, TED-style speech contests, photography competitions, football matches, and basketball games.


Various performances on the stage by JI students, faculty and staff members

Group photo of attendees