The University of Michigan-Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute (UM-SJTU JI, JI hereafter) held the 2023 Thank You Day event at Long Bin Building on December 2, in a bid to express gratitude to all people who have provided support to its development.

In his opening speech, JI Dean Chien-Pin Chen highlighted the remarkable progress made by the institution in the seventeen years since its establishment. JI has undergone effective reforms in internationalized education, the development of first-class majors, and the nurturing of academic and entrepreneurial talents. The results are evident in the continuous emergence of outstanding young alumni and the tangible achievements in talent cultivation. These accomplishments, providing valuable insights and momentum for higher education reforms, are credited to the unwavering attention, trust, and robust support from social elites, various sectors of society, alumni, parents, businesses, and non-profit organizations, he said. Chen urged the faculty and students not to forget their initial aspirations. Instead, he encouraged them to march forward with determination, illuminate the future path with the power of example, embrace the world, explore innovation, and create a better future for humanity and the nation.

UM Executive Director of International Giving Brodie Remington sent a congratulatory message via video. While expressing gratitude for the generous support provided by numerous donors, Remington said, “We are so proud of everything that you’ve accomplished in such a short period of time. The joint institute represents the very best of what China and the United States can accomplish when we work together.”

During his address, Founder and Chairman of H&F Fund Management Group John Wu, who is also director of the SJTU Board and co-chair of the JI Development Advisory Board, said JI has successfully cultivated over 4,000 accomplished alumni who have shone on the world stage since its inception. As a scholarship donor, he hopes future JI students can achieve more and become trailblazers of the new era.

Signing ceremony of John Wu and Jane Sun Endowment Fund

Signing ceremony of the  Mega Phase Fund

Signing ceremony of the UM-SJTU JI Teaching Development Fund led by Xizhi Lu

Signing ceremony for the Bosch Elites Program

Appreciation ceremony for the UZ Scholarship

The Thank You Day event also featured ceremonies for the agreement signing of a few donations, including the John Wu and Jane Sun Endowment Fund, the Mega Phase Fund, the UM-SJTU JI Teaching Development Fund led by Xizhi Lu, the Bosch Elites Program and the UZ Scholarship. The newly established scholarships from these ceremonies are expected to support the long-term development of JI’s educational initiatives.

JI Development Advisory Board Co-chair Jane Sun delivered a speech on behalf of the board and donors. JI has withstood challenges and achieved excellent results since its establishment, as many outstanding individuals have emerged during this journey, said Sun who is also chief executive officer of Group Limited. She urged the students to always maintain a grateful heart, to remember the place where they once studied and grew, and to give back to their alma mater with love and wisdom, contributing to the thriving development of JI in the future.

JI Founding Dean Jun Ni reviewed the past contributions and efforts of JI in his speech, highlighting its achievements in Sino-American educational and cultural exchanges, as well as reforms and innovative models in talent development. He encouraged the JI students and alumni to do their best to contribute to the society and their alma maters in the future.
JI Deputy Party Secretary Chong Wang, who used “emotional”, “admiring” and “excited” to express his mood at the moment, introduced the JI scholarship review process for 2023, in which nearly 300 students are offered scholarships for the academic year. This represents over 60% of the total number of applicants from all grades, he said.

 Donors and JI leaders present scholarship awards to students.

In his speech on behalf of the award winners, Yanze Yu, recipient of the 2023 John Wu and Jane Sun Outstanding Scholarship, said the scholarship not only serves as personal recognition and spiritual motivation for his past year but also encourages and marks a new starting point for his future life pursuits. The award will strengthen his determination to follow his chosen path, said the sophomore student.

SJTU Vice President Lifeng Xi welcomed the guests and congratulated the scholarship recipients. Commending JI’s outstanding achievements, he attributed success to the collaborative efforts of students and faculty, societal support, and alumni contributions. During the gratitude-themed event, Xi urged students to remember their origins and express gratitude, embrace responsibility, pursue excellence, and maintain a sense of social duty. He emphasized the importance of global outlook, innovation, and aligning personal development with national progress, and expressed his expectation that the students can become a new generation in this era that represents SJTU and influences global development.

As part of the Thank You Day event, artistic performances were presented by JI students to express a sense of gratitude and reflection. Participants were also invited to attend the exhibition of JI social practice teams, youth organizations and the alumni achievements.

Students meet with donors

SJTU President Kuiling Ding (front row, first from left) meets donor representatives

Group photo of event attendees