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Monday, May 30 – A day after the festivities of Homecoming, Sias held the Commencement for the graduating class of 2015-16 on the morning of the 29th of May in the Basketball Arena.
There were many guests at the Commencement, from both China and the USA. These included former Mayor of Honolulu, Hawai’i, Mufi Hannemann; Founder and Chairman of the Rusnak Auto Group, Paul Rusnak; Fort Hays State University (FHSU) President, Dr. Mirta Martin; member of the Kansas Board of Regents for higher education, and Director of the Kansas Arts Foundation, Dr. Daniel Thomas; FHSU Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Graham Glynn; FHSU Vice President of Administration and Finance, Michael Barnett; FHSU Vice President of Technology, Joy Hatch; FHSU Assistant Provost for Global Relations; Cynthia Elliott; Sias Foundation President, Dr. Alan Brown; former Executive Director (retired) of North Carolina Biotechnology Center, Norris Tolson; President and CEO of Southwest Behavioral Health Service, Jeff Jorde; Financial Officer of Anker Management Logistic (Dubai), Syrga Cameron; Vice President of Zhengzhou University, Prof. Song Maoping; Dean of Liberal Arts, Huaqiao University, Dr. Sun Rujian; and the Director of the Vietnam, Laos & China Cooperation Center, Li Jianmin.
The Sias hierarchy was also present with Chairman of the Board of Sias, Dr. Shawn Chen; Party Secretary, Fei Hexiang; Sias President, Dr. Chen Sikun; Vice President, Liu Shuqin; Deputy Party Secretary, Li Huafeng; Proctor Han Xiaoai; Supervisor Li Haijun; and Supervisor Xiao Yunlong. All the heads of the different departments and schools at Sias were present as well. The ceremony was presided over by Dr. Chen Sikun.
The event was covered by several news media outlets including China Education News, China Youth Daily, People’s Daily, The River Daily, Guangming Daily, Zhengzhou Daily, Sina.com.cn, and Tencent.com.
The Commencement began in the morning, with the national anthems of the People’s Republic of China, and the USA. Dr. Shawn Chen then introduced the guests and delivered a speech in which he advised the graduates in attendance and wished them well for their futures. There were also speeches by Prof. Song Maoping, Dr. Mirta Martin, Dr. Alan Brown, Paul Rusnak, and by teachers’ representative Wu Chunjie, and students’ representative, Xiao Hongying. Dr. Shawn Chen then awarded Paul Rusnak an honorary Ph.D. from Sias.
The awards ceremony began with various prizes being given for first, second, and third placed students, as well as the high ranking students of the dual-degree program with Fort Hays State University. There were also awards for the top ranking graduates in Henan province, students who had won scholarships for post-graduate study in the USA, as well as those students who had obtained post-graduate admission in Zhengzhou University.
The ceremony ended with the Sias song, and thousands of emotional students bidding farewell to their alma mater. In total, 6,775 students graduated from Sias in the academic year 2015-16.
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