Mr. David Youtz, Ms. Leslie Stone, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
Good morning! Today, we feel privileged and humbled to gather in front of the statue of Mr. Hu Jinjie, the founder of Xiuning High School and a great advocate and practitioner of modern education in the Hui Prefecture, to celebrate the tenth Anniversary of the Partnership between the Yale-China Association and Xiuning High School. Please let me extend my warmest welcome to all of you on behalf of all the staff and students in our school!
We hold this grand ceremony in front of Mr. Hu’s statue for the reason that a few years after this center of learning was founded, in 1918 and 1919, Mr. Hu invited some famous American scholars, Dr. Martin, Mr. Ding Deren, and Dr. Giles to deliver speeches, give classes, and help students learn to speak English, which was tracked by the then school magazine, “Journal of the Provincial No. 2 Teacher’s School”. I feel proud to say that Mr. Hu paved the way and set the standard for the development of education in our school—“blending the past and the present, integrating the world and China”. The lyrics from the school anthem of Xiuning’s predecessor school pronounced it so: “Old ways should be discussed, and new knowledge should be mastered, to sow the seeds of civilization. From Ziyang to Haiyang, Western Europe to the United States, all smelted in one furnace, to double the atmosphere of the extraordinary.” The Partnership between the Yale-China Association and Xiuning High School has undoubtedly been a remarkable product of Mr. Hu Jinjie’s educational principles. Today, we are paying our greatest tribute to Mr. Hu Jinjie for his dedication and vision in front of the monument to this great man!
Thanks to the consistent support and commitment of Mr. David Youtz, Ms. Leslie Stone, and each of the former directors and other leaders of Yale-China, the past ten years have witnessed the growth and maturity of the Partnership between Yale-China and our school, which has had an impact beyond measure on everyone who has been blessed by it. Xiuning High School enjoys her fame for her unrivalled beautiful campus. The Partnership between Yale-China and Xiuning High School has been to an extent nurturing the development and prosperity of this school, allowing the young aspiring pupils here an invaluable chance to learn more about this fast-developing world and helping them become passionate learners and vigorous critical thinkers. The three years that they breathe the same air with the Yale teaching fellows will surely be an experience they’ll cherish and take pride in for a lifetime!
Here, I want to genuinely thank all the Yale trustees and others who care about charity and who have for decades generously funded and supported Yale-China! It is your kind act that has carried the initial intent of Yale-China since it was founded over a century ago. It is your kind act that has passed on Yale-China’s spirit of friendly mutual assistance for over five score years. Your great commitment to building a partnership where both sides progress in harmony has sowed seeds of friendship and mutual understanding in the hearts of all Xiuzhong people!
More importantly, I want to express my heart-felt gratitude to the twenty young teaching fellows our school has proudly had! You have been perfect representatives of all Yale graduates. You all feature a positive mindset, optimism, entrepreneurship, wide interests, excellent hands-on skills, and thirst for knowledge. Your willingness to devote all you have to helping your students learn has left a wonderful impression on every member of the community. You have won honor for Yale University as well as Xiuning High School, and we all take great pride in you!
The Yale-China and Xiuzhong Partnership was established with three missions to fulfill: to assist us in enhancing the level of English language instruction in our school, to help all Xiuzhong people have a better understanding of contemporary American culture and learn more about the American people, and to provide a platform for the Yale teaching fellows to have a deep insight of Chinese culture and Chinese people. Ten years has passed in the blink of an eye—it has proved that our cooperation has been far more constructive and meaningful than we had expected. The “tin wedding” of the Yale-China Association and Xiuning High School has witnessed many fruits of labor. In 2008, the Yale-China Association teacher Wyatt Golding and Xiuning High School teacher Yuan Yurong jointly received the Olympic torch, leaving a permanent imprint of the Yale-China Association and Xiuning High School on the Beijing Olympic torch relay. The annual school musical directed by the Yale-China teaching fellows on campus has been an indispensable, shining and distinctive element of the No. One Scholars Culture of Xiuning County, which is widely acknowledged as the No. One County of the No. One Scholars. It is especially worth mentioning that under the joint efforts of the Yale-China Association and Xiuning High School, local student Hu Yunying successfully joined the Yale Young Global Scholars and won a full scholarship to attend the summer program at Yale University in 2015. This year, He Jiyuan, Tu Yufei, and Wang Xue also received full scholarships for the program. For a provincial-level model high school where most of its students come from the countryside, these are unbelievable achievements. Meanwhile, the educational and cultural exchanges between our school and Newton public schools in Boston, which were conducted even earlier than the establishment of the Partnership, and the visits of Yale alumni and of the family members of the Yale-China teaching fellows, have not only opened the door of Xiuning High school to the world, allowing us to exhibit our unique way of school administration on the world stage, but have also demonstrated to the world the Chinese people’s pursuit of open-mindedness, friendship, harmony and development. Our partnership has also witnessed the budding and blooming of a trans-Pacific romance between two former Yale-China teaching fellows, Annie Lin and Brendan Woo. All the above have drawn attention to the influence of Yale-China in Xiuning High School as well as the influence of our school locally and globally. Moreover, the Partnership serves as a bridge of friendship between the two greatest peoples in the world.
Ladies and gentlemen, today’s gathering is brief, but the one hundred-year bond in education between the USA and China has gone through trials and tribulations as well as joyous moments. I look forward to a brighter and more fruitful future of the Partnership between Yale-China and Xiuning High School with both sides working whole-heartedly together. I firmly believe that both sides will come up with a new blueprint for our more comprehensive cooperation for many years to come, making Yale-China mission a mission for all! Thank you very much!