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2018 Candlelight & Opening Ceremony
Tuesday, September 18 - Sias' annual Candlelight & Opening Ceremony was held on the evening of the 17th of September at the Track & Field Stadium. The launch of Sias' 20th Anniversary Celebrations was also held during the event.
Delegations from the Association of Universities of Asia & the Pacific (AUAP), the Sias Foundation, Southwest Behavioral Health Services (Arizona, USA), the University of Arizona, IPH Schools (Surabaya, Indonesia), and Zhejiang University were present. There were also senior representatives and delegations from the Provincial Development and Reform Commission, the Henan Department of Education, Xinzheng Municipal Bureau, iSoftStone, Bank of China, China Construction Bank, China Merchants Bank, Jiangxi Qinghua Industrial Co., China Mobile, Central China Securities, and tEverbright Securities. Over 200 Chinese and foreign guests attended the ceremony, as well as leaders of Sias, heads of departments, academic schools, and residential colleges, Chinese and foreign faculty, and all the freshmen of the 2018/19 academic year.
Before the ceremony began, a video on the recently concluded 2018 Freshman Military Training, produced by the Sias News Center, was played on the big screen. This was followed by a lucky draw for the freshmen, with the Chairman of the Board of Sias, Dr. Shawn Chen, presenting the awards. The prizes in the draw included study abroad exchange programs, free lessons at Sias' Driving School, and a chance to dine with Dr. Shawn Chen. Dr. Chen, along with members of Sias' foreign teachers, led the freshmen in dancing to the Y.M.C.A and the Macarena.
Dr. Chen then lit the torch symbolizing the spirit of Sias, and passed it to 8 students representing the Residential Colleges at Sias. They then passed on the flame to every person in the audience. The candle light ceremony was instituted to symbolize the transfer of the spirit and heritage of Sias to the freshmen.
After the playing of the Chinese and American national anthems, Dr. Chen delivered the first of a series of keynote speeches that evening. He welcomed the guests, parents, teachers, and freshman students. He also announced the start of Sias' 20th Anniversary Celebrations. He said that Sias had achieved a remarkable speed of development, and hoped that it would continue to do so, always holding fast to its values, and contributing to the development of the nation's education.
The President of the Sias Foundation, Dr. Edward Johnson, delivered a speech and shared from his experience and said that he hoped that the freshmen would overcome their fears, and face their university life with courage and self-confidence. He said that the Sias Foundation would continue to support Sias students to achieve their goals.
The Deputy Party Secretary of Zhejiang University, Zheng Qiang, delivered a humorous and insightful speech on college life and education.
The Chairman & CEO of iSoftStone, Liu Tianwen, delivered a speech in which he shared his entrepreneurial journey. He said that he hoped that Sias would learn from the past and the present, and learn from China and the West, so that they could conquer the world!
Freshman representative, Gao Ziqi, an economics major from the School of Business, spoke at the ceremony. She spoke in fluent English about the ease in which the freshmen had adapted to Sias, and their amazement of Sias' educational model.
Assistant Principal, Guo Xuede, led the freshman students in reciting the oath of honor. This was followed by Dr. Chen presenting scholarship awards to freshmen.
The commencement ceremony of the 20th Anniversary was also held that evening, and began with a celebratory ball and the presentation of the new 20th Anniversary logo of Sias.
The Opening Ceremony ended with performances by Sias' School of Music, School of Opera, and School of Physical Education, capped by a fireworks display.
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