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2019 Candlelight & Opening Ceremony
Monday, September 16 - The annual Candlelight & Opening Ceremony at Sias University was held on the evening of the 15th of September at the Track & Field Stadium. A number of visiting delegations were present at the Ceremony including delegations from the Sias Foundation, Fort Hays State University, Southwest Behavioral & Health Services, the Carter Center, the Zhengzhou People's Congress Standing Committee, the Xinzheng People's Congress Standing Committee, the Xinzheng People's Congress Finance & Economics Committee, the Yangtze River Business School, Henan Daily Newspaper Group, Bank of China, and iFLYTEK. The entire Sias leadership was also present, as were the heads of departments, and representatives of Sias' Chinese and foreign faculty. All the freshmen of the 2019/20 academic year attended the Ceremony.
Before the ceremony, the audience was shown a video produced by the Sias News Center about the freshman military training that had been completed earlier that day. This was followed by short interactive performances, a commemoration of the 20th anniversary of Sias, and a student lottery which included prizes such as free driving lessons at the Sias Driving School, round-trip air tickets for a study abroad program at Sydney University in Australia, and the opportunity to have lunch with the Chairman of the Board of Sias University.
The Candlelight Ceremony began with the Founder and Chairman of the Board, Dr. Shawn Chen, lighting the torch symbolizing the spirit of Sias, and passing the flame on to students representatives of the 4 grades, who then passed it on to representatives of the residential colleges at Sias. The flame was then passed on to all the members of the audience, symbolizing the inheritance of the Sias culture and the passion that is to guide each freshman through their university life.
After the singing of the national anthem of the People's Republic of China, Dr. Shawn Chen introduced the guests and delivered the opening speech. He welcomed the Chinese and foreign guests, the parents of the freshmen, and the freshmen of the 2019/20 academic year. He said that he hoped that the new batch of students at Sias would cherish their time at the university, devise a good career plan, meet their challenges bravely, study hard, make strict demands of themselves, and actively embody the Sias motto - "East-meets-West; Knowledge meets Practice".
The Chief of Clinical Services/Clinical Training at Southwest Behavioral & Health Services, Dr. Bob Bohanske, who was the Sias Foundation Representative at the event, delivered a speech and welcomed the freshmen to the Sias family. He said that he hoped that they would overcome their fears, and be brave and confident as they embarked on a new chapter in their lives. He also said that the Sias Foundation would continue to support students in the realization of their dreams.
In a prerecorded video, James "Chip" Carter, representative of the Carter Center, and son of former U.S. President, Jimmy Carter, expressed his wishes to the freshmen at Sias. He said that his family gave great importance to education, and Sias' educational philosophy gave students an advantage through its cross-cultural education. He said that he hoped that students would use these opportunities and work hard.
Dr. Jack Gao, the Founding Partner and CEO of Smart Cinema delivered a speech and encouraged students to study hard, grasp opportunities, innovate and seek change, so that they could increase their competitiveness, learning ability, practical abilities, and creative energy.
The CEO of iFLYTEK Co. Ltd., Chen Tao, spoke about the scientific and technological achievements of iFLYTEK. He said that Sias' iFLYTEK School of Artificial Intelligence would uphold Sias' educational philosophies and combine them with the leading technologies of iFLYTEK in the artificial intelligence industry. They would adopt innovative methods of training to produce high-quality graduates at Sias.
Freshman Representative, Wang Mengyao, who is a student in the School of Foreign Languages majoring in Japanese, and a member of the Siqi Residential College, delivered a speech on behalf of the freshmen of the 2019/20 academic year. She spoke about the warmth and enthusiasm she felt in her first 2 weeks of university life, and her surprise at the innovative educational concepts at Sias. She said that the new generation of students would be positive and enterprising.
After the speeches, the Deputy Party Secretary, Li Huafeng, led the freshmen in their Students' Oath of Honor. Dr. Shawn Chen then presented awards to students who had won the 2019 Admission Scholarships.
In closing, the Candlelight Ceremony served up a visual feast through special performances by the School of Music & Opera, the School of International Education, the Sias Secondary School, and Sias Dance troupes, involving Chinese and international students, as well as Chinese and foreign teachers.
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