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Peking University celebrates its 120th anniversary

Editor: Qian Ding 丨CCTV.com

05-04-2018 20:49 BJT

By Qian Ding/ Li Shouen, CCTV.com reporters

China's prominent university, Peking University celebrates its 120 anniversary at its main gymnasium, the Khoo teck Puat Sports Complex, on May 4th under the theme "Integrity, Creativity and the Future." 246 university presidents from 44 countries along with alumni and officials joined the celebration.

As the first comprehensive national university in China, the founding of Peking University 120 years ago is recognized as having been the first seed planted for the birth and growth of modern higher education in China. The 120th anniversary celebration is, therefore, not only a university celebration, but also a celebration of modern Chinese culture, education and ideology. This is an occasion for Peking University to reflect on the history of higher education while striving to foresee its future development.

Chinese President Xi Jinping paid a special visit to Peking University on May 2nd. He said, "Youth in the new era should be patriotic and loyal to the nation and the people; they should be motivated and ambitious and strive for their aspirations; they should seek truth and practical knowledge and cultivate practical skills; they should take personal action, unite knowledge and action, and be doers." Xi emphasized the political direction of the university's development and called for building world-class universities with Chinese characteristics.

Lin Jianhua, President of Peking University, delivers a speech. (Photo/ Qian Ding)

PKU president Lin Jianhua said the responsibility of the university is to find the nation's future. The university is committed to the prosperity of the country, rejuvenation of the nation and well-being of the people. It's dedicated to building a professional and liberal education system, reforming ideological and political education, cultivating independent and critical thinking and developing understanding of oneself, society, China and the world.

Professor Peter Salovey, President of Yale University, delivers a speech. (Photo/Provided by PKU)

Among those who also spoke at the ceremony were Professor Peter Salovey, President of Yale University in the US and Qiu Yong, President of Tsinghua University which is located at China's capital, Beijing. Presidents from other universities including Fudan University, Rome University also sent their regards and wishes through videos.

Afterwards, nine PKU graduates were honored with May 4 Award - the highest honor for PKU graduates by distinguished professors and instructors.

The ceremony ended with a chorus song called "Yan Yuan Qing" (Love for PKU) sung by the university's alumni and students.

Peking University is one of top universities in China. The university had played an important role in the birth of China's New Culture Movement, May Fourth Movement and many other significant events. It has educated and hosted many prominent modern Chinese thinkers, including Mao Zedong, Lu Xun and the current Premier Li Keqiang. 


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