Dear President, Vice President, Faculty Members, Honorable Guests, Families and Fellow students,

Good afternoon! My name is Tang Yihan, a Statistics student from the Division of Science and Technology. I am so grateful that I can have the chance to address this audience on behalf of the graduating class of 2019. Welcome you all and hope that you feel as proud as I am to be part of this great moment.

We are a new generation of UICers. Four years ago, we made one of the most important decisions of our life by joining UIC. Over that four years period, we witnessed milestone moments in UIC history: the establishment of our new campus and inauguration of our new President. Today we gather here to celebrate our success. At this moment, I would like to express my deep gratitude to our University, in particular, the Division of Science and Technology and Statistics Program. I would also like to give my greatest respect and gratitude to the entire staff and faculty members of UIC. Thank you for your patience and generous giving. You make UIC a warm home for us. Without you, we can never be this excellent.

We are a new generation having to face a much faster changing world than just a decade ago. Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and Cloud Computing are leading to changes at an unprecedented rate and scale. We UICers are ready to face the challenges ahead. UIC teaches us to be “life-long learners”. We can find information in many areas from our Learning Resource Centre, and practice what we learned in our advanced laboratories. Very often I stayed in the lab from morning to night. Looking back, the days that I did my research and struggled in the laboratory are the most precious time in my college life.

We are a new generation who has global vision with local focus. To prepare for globalization, we learned how to collaborate with others, be ready to listen and be creative in our thinking. Thanks to UIC’s unique educational models: liberal arts education, whole person education and interdisciplinary curriculum. We have adopted a multi-perspective way of thinking. When I was a sophomore, I took a course called “The America Dream”. After studying American history and some of its literatures, I realized that most America dreams are about self-achievement as depicted in the “Golden Girl”. At times, it is characterized by personal tragedy and hardship, like “The Great Gatsby” and “The Death of Salesman”. However, The Chinese dream is about the prosperity of the whole society, and most importantly, its harmony and vitality. This experience makes me want to know more about other parts of the world, makes me want to study overseas.

We are a new generation of the young community of UIC. A young university gives us more latitude and motivations to constantly challenge ourselves and jump out of our comfortable zone. Our community has staff from over 25 countries, with different cultures, different ideas, and full of energy and creativity. Liberal arts education and whole personal education makes us more adaptable in this fast changing world, makes us strong. Every dot we experience here cannot be accurately predicted by statistical modeling. But I believe that some of them will be the influential point in our life. Just as Steven Jobs said: You can't connect the dots looking forward. You can only connect them looking backwards. So in the years to come, we can look back and appreciate how our UIC experience had enriched our lives. These four years in UIC is the turning period of my life. It truly completes my personal development, broadens my horizons and fosters me to an even better person.

Finally, I would like to congratulate all of the students here including myself for finally graduating. Every end has a new beginning. I wish you all the best in your new beginning. On behalf of all of you I want to voice my recognition and deepest tributes to our University: Beijing Normal University-Hong Kong Baptist University United International College.

Last but not least, I want to express my deepest love and gratitude to my family and my friends. Thank you for supporting and witnessing my growing up. Again, dear teachers, friends, and family, I love you all!

Thank you for listening.