The 2021 University of Michigan-Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute (UM-SJTU JI,JI hereafter) Commencement Ceremony was held at Long Bin Building on August 6. The ceremony was attended by SJTU President Zhongqin Lin, invited keynote speaker Founding & Managing Partner of Sequoia Capital China Neil Shen, JI leaders including Honorary Dean Jun Ni, Dean Peisen Huang, Party Secretary and Associate Dean for Research Ming Yang, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Chien-Pin Chen, Associate Dean for Graduate Education David Hung, Deputy Party Secretary and Executive Director Scott Yang, as well as faculty and staff representatives, graduates of 2021 and their parents, either online or in person. David Hung hosted the ceremony.

In the speech on behalf of SJTU management, Zhongqin Lin congratulated the graduates, thanked JI faculty and staff, and paid tribute to the students’ parents. He sent the parting words to the graduates, hoping them to embrace the world with responsibility and ambition, put knowledge into use and pursue ceaseless innovation, keep the Alma Mater in mind and harbor gratitude.

Peisen Huang congratulated the graduates on behalf of JI faculty and staff. In spite of the severe COVID-19 pandemic, the Class of 2021 placement results were the best ever in the history of JI. Statistics showed 259 of the 304 graduates or more than 85% will continue graduate studies at famous foreign and domestic universities such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, University of California at Berkeley, University of Michigan, the University of Tokyo and Shanghai Jiao Tong University. 75% of graduates heading to American universities are enrolled by US top 10 engineering graduate schools. Most of the students who chose to enter the job market have been recruited by great multinational companies in China and the United States. Aside from the excellent academic performance, the students’ engagement in extracurricular activities, particularly in community service and volunteering, are also highly impressive, said Huang who hoped the graduates will help solve the world’s most pressing problems and make the world a better place for all.

Neil Shen delivered an online keynote speech to the 2021 graduates. As a SJTU alumnus who graduated from JI’s precursor, a pilot program of the School of Mechanical Engineering, Shen said he highly appreciates the core values and visions of JI including Internationalization, Interdisciplinary, Innovation and Quality. He advised the graduates to find a good job that makes them truly excited and willing to commit, design a good mid-to-long-term career path, and follow an important sense of mission which must be integrated with the vision and prospects of the country.

Parent representative Professor Feng Zhang said in his speech that today is an unforgettable historical moment, a milestone of JI and a new starting point for the graduates. He hoped the students with solid foundation laid in SJTU will be able to pursue a bright future in their study, work and life.

Li Shi, valedictorian of the 2020 bachelor’s degree graduates, made a speech reviewing the JI journey of the past four years. “My four years of life at JI have taught me the two keywords to face the uncertainties and achieve our life goals: courage and persistence. In such a rapidly changing era, we are grateful that JI gives us the courage and persistence during the past four years. With courage and persistence, we will depart from JI to a broader future,” he said.

10 students were appointed Alumni Class Directors for the graduates of 2021

Peisen Huang and Ming Yang, on behalf of JI, accepted a gift from the Class of 2021 graduates, photos of the old and new buildings of JI, implying graduates’ gratitude for JI’s four years’ company.

Finally came the very moment for the 2021 graduates, the degree awarding ceremony that is held both online and on-site. To immerse the 36 online graduates in the ceremony, Peisen Huang hooded and turned the tassel for them on the screen with the help of specially added animation. Witnessed by faculty members, fellow students and parents, 238 onsite graduates wore the personalized academicals had their tassels turned and received their degree certificates which make them ready to embark on the next stage of their life journeys.

Graduates take group photos in and out of Long Bin Building