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2017 Candlelight Ceremony
Wednesday, September 20 – Sias International University held its annual Candlelight Ceremony on the 19th of September, at the Track & Field Stadium. Over 200 Chinese and foreign guests were present, along with the Sias leadership, Sias' Chinese and foreign faculty, and over 7,600 freshmen of the academic year 2017/18. The guests came from a wide range of institutions and organizations, including, Fort Hays State University (FHSU), in Kansas, USA; the Sias Foundation; Orkhon University, in Mongolia; the Government of Henan Province; the Henan Provincial People's Congress; the Henan Provincial Education Department; Henan Federation of Trade Unions; Henan Provincial Admissions Office; Zhengzhou City Procuratorate; Xinzheng City Municipal Board; Huailai County government; Bank of China; iSoftStone; Zhengzhou Synear Food; the Chaoxing Group; the Long Jun Group; the World Academy for the Future of Women; and the Future Information Technology Institute (FITI).
The evening's festivities began with a video about the recently concluded Freshman Military Training. The Candlelight Ceremony began with Dr. Shawn Chen, and members of Sias' foreign faculty leading the audience in interactive dances. This was followed by a lucky draw in which students in the audience won several prizes on offer, including free lessons at the Sias Driving School, and dinner with Dr. Shawn Chen. Dr. Chen then lit the torch along with student representatives from every grade, symbolizing the start of the academic year.
After the national anthems of China and the USA were played, Dr. Shawn Chen introduced the guests. He then delivered a speech on the nurturing of innovative personalities. He said that in addition to what is learnt in class, students need to pursue innovative thinking. He gave the freshmen 5 suggestions for their life ahead. First, to be innovative and not be rigid in their thinking. Second, to be adaptable adapt to a changing society and increasingly complex competition. Third, to be forward-looking and not get bogged down in today's problems. Fourth, be a survivor and don't give up easily. Fifth, be a citizen of the world, and develop cross-cultural understanding, integrated thinking, and a of globalized world view.
The Assistant Provost for Strategic Partnerships at Fort Hays State University (FHSU), Cynthia Elliott, said that the military training would give the freshmen a sense of responsibility and self-discipline. She hoped that students would use this newfound self-discipline and self-confidence for self improvement. She encouraged them to make full use of Sias' academic atmosphere and educational resources. She said that their goal should be to develop into people who are able to adapt to the constant development in a globalized world.
The Founder and Chairman of the Board of the Oriental Baby-Care Group, Jia Jun, then delivered a speech. She said that in her travels to over 40 countries, she had never seen a university like Sias. She said that design and architecture had impressed her in its fusion of Chinese and Western influences. She wished the freshmen well, and encouraged them to be innovative and courageous.
Sias' Foreign Faculty Representative, Eric Valdois, also spoke at the ceremony and welcomed the freshmen to the Sias family. He said that in a few days students would be learning about new topics from their foreign teachers including English pronunciation, business theory, and American history. He said that he hoped that Sias' foreign faculty would help students accomplish their dreams and goals.
After a speech by the Freshman Representative, Wang Xinyue, the Vice President of Sias, Liu Shuqin, led the freshmen in the recitation of the students' oath. This was followed by a short awards ceremony for a variety of scholarships from Sias and FHSU for the 2017/18 academic year that were presented by Sias' Executive Vice President, Dong Qiming, Sias President, Dr. Chen Sikun, Sias Party Secretary, Fei Hexiang, Chairman of the Board, Dr. Shawn Chen, and Cynthia Elliott.
The 2017 Candlelight Ceremony ended with a series of performances and a fireworks display.
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