The opening ceremony for the 2012 incoming students was held on September 9, 2012. Jun Ni, Dean of JI, Robert Parker, Executive Dean, Peisen Huang, Associate Dean for Education, and Pam Byrnes, Executive Director, as well as members of faculty and staff, welcomed the students and parents. The new students consist of 290 undergraduates and 32 graduate students. The ceremony was conducted entirely in English, so the students and parents sensed JI’s international atmosphere on the first day of school.
Professor Parker, the Master of Ceremonies, congratulated the students on being admitted to JI, which was very competitive. Now, they have to prove and distinguish themselves. He assured that JI will prepare them to meet the challenges, to thrive, and to succeed. He stressed the purpose of university education is not only for securing good jobs but for personal growth and development. He encouraged students to engage in extracurricular activities such as clubs, competitions, and voluntary work, from which students can identify themselves and find out what they want to do in their lives.
Dean Ni made a presentation about JI. He pointed out the unsatisfactory outcomes of traditional Chinese higher education and showed how JI provides the solutions through innovative education models and top-notch faculty, resulting in students with confidence, creativity, leadership, communication skills, teamwork spirit, and problem solving capabilities. He presented the impressive placement records of JI’s graduates in the past 3 years, with the majority going to top US graduate schools and, for those who chose to work, 35%-40% higher starting salaries than their counterparts at SJTU, which invoked big applause from the students and parents.
The President of JI Student Union, Tongquan Ding, promised to provide various services, such as part time jobs and social activities, to the new students so they will have a meaningful and enjoyable university life at JI.
Freshmen representative, Jiawei Li, thanked all parents for their great supports and commented that the students should take the responsibilities for themselves from now on. They will use the valuable resources at JI and work hard for the future.
International student representative, Ardo Hintoso from Indonesia, remarked that it was destiny (緣分) that brought him to JI. He was attracted by JI as a special place blending China and the West. He wants to become part of something big.
Graduate student representative Zheng Zhao expressed that it is a great honor to be part of JI; realizing the journey ahead is hard, she is determined to work diligently and be productive.
At the end, led by Wenguang Mao, all new students took the oath on JI Honor Code.
Afterwards, the JI Parent Teacher Association (PTA) held a meeting presided by Ms. Xuqing, the parent of a senior, who gave parents an overview of JI’s achievements and how the PTA has thrived and become a strong network that provides services for all JI parents, including prospective parents of high school students. Ms. Xuqing gave tips on parenting freshmen and recommended the PTA’s Sina blog and QQ groups as sources of useful information. Then the new members of PTA’s presidium were presented. During the Q&A, Deans Ni and Huang and Ms. Yang Wang, Domestic Recruitment Manager, answered many questions about the Dual Degree program and Combined Undergraduate / Graduate Program which most parents are concerned about.