Ladies and gentlemen, distinguished guests, dear professors, fellow schoolmates, good afternoon!    

I’m Zhang Qiuruo, a second-year master student. It’s my great honor to deliver this speech on behalf of Class 2019.   

In the past two years, I have committed to my fond memory much of my life in the HNC family. This year, thanks to banwei, we reveled in leisure on the second-floor Yangtai and watched movies in the lounge every Friday night. We witnessed the memorable costumes of Professor PAT and Professor Simon at the Halloween Party and spent our cozy moments with friends at the Christmas Eve Party. Led by our banwei, we made an outing to Jiming Temple and Niushou Mountain, where we were immersed in the fragrance of plum blossoms and the gentle touch of spring breeze. Thanks to the staff of career service office, visits to Huawei and Suning broadened our horizons for possible career choice. Thanks to our field trips to Yunnan, Dandong and Heilongjiang led by Professor Christofferson, we saw first-hand the boundary line of the vast expanse of the Chinese territory. Thanks to our co-directors and volunteers, the hamburgers and hotdogs at our barbecue parties tasted even better than Skyway’s. Thanks to my advisor Professor Kurien, Mary’s chocolate is the best gift for the torturing defense.    

I will never forget the performance of brilliant HNC band with Professor Joe. My heart is still resounding with every song you played at every HNC party. I’ll never forget the excellent HNC dragon boat team. You practiced over and over again despite the baking sun, and when you finished the competition, we couldn’t help but bursting into loud cheers. Most importantly, I will never forget you—HNC, and you—every member in the HNC family. We have so many shared beautiful memories and we will hold them dear to heart.    


But in the past two years, our memories are not always fun and rosy. HNC is by no means an easy place where you can muddle along. So today, every student sitting here is a hero.    

I can still remember the intense pressure I faced when struggling to meet the deadlines for three papers coming my way at the same time. I can still recollect the outpouring of frustration when failing at job interviews once again and crying in fear for a bleak prospect of job hunting. But today, when looking back at the past years that taste both sweet and bitter, we nevertheless also appreciate the days when we toiled in HNC.   


It is the HNC that equips us with keener understanding about the world around us and the world we are going to explore. Here, it is common to find Chinese students who will go abroad for further study and international students who will stay in China for work.    

It is the HNC that teaches us nothing is impossible as long as we start doing it right at the moment. It is no surprise to see an ERE major going to work in a bank and an econ major going to a tech-company.    

It is the HNC that nurtured our willingness to respect, our drive to appreciate and our passion to bridge different cultures. It is more than usual to see that, no matter our social backgrounds or nationalities, here, we can sit together to take courses in different disciplines and discuss issues from trade war to Brexit, and from criminal law to religious practices.    

Most importantly, it is the HNC that offers us a platform to break down stereotypes, to understand another culture through real-life interactions rather than merely through magazine articles or TV news. Among our HNC family, even though sometimes we may interpret a Wechat sticker or an idiomatic slang in quite different ways, we never shy away from or reject altogether our communication. And that is the tenet of cultural exchange.   


However, today, after we go out of this building, we are to say goodbye and put the finishing touches to our HNC story. We will begin our next chapter. Maybe in the future, actually I am pretty sure, we will miss all the memories that we have about this place, all the names we met, and all the beautiful days we spent. But no matter how unforgettable it is, the HNC will just be a single page in our long life story. That is why this ceremony is called a “commencement”. It is not an ending, but the beginning of a new page of life. It is not just a time to say goodbye, but a time to say hello to our new life.   

Thank you my dear professors and schoolmates! Thank you HNC! My best wishes for all of you! Wish you all have a good memory to cherish, and a good future to chase.    

Thank you very much!    


在开始解释讲话的主题之前,我首先需要承认一个发现:做这个演讲比我预料得难得多。原来,我以为回忆两年在南京的经历并且深思中美中心的独特方面可能特别好玩还会很有趣,但是很快就发现我根本不知道怎么开始完满总结我们在中美中心的时刻。到底我怎么知道我同学的最真实的想法呢?我自己不太知道对世界的看法,我代表各位同学和老师的看法可能是不可能的。实际上,我更多地思考了中美中心的性质和特色,慢慢了解我对你们想讨论什么体现中美中心经历的主题:“家”,home. 由此,这次毕业典礼演讲会概括讨论找到,保持并且弘扬家的重要性。    


按此情况,找到或者创造某个“家”显得很不现实。可是每天到处都有人宣称一个地方还有一群人为“家”。对我来说,这个现象解释“家”的最基本的方面:我心安处即为家、home is what you make it。我认为这个概念就指导了我两年的南京经历,还有我的同学们和老师们也可能理解这个道理。我们通常没有能力选择自己的情况。我小时候,我爸是一个士兵,所以我的家庭常常没有能力影响我们去哪儿。尽管我们四口人缺乏权力确定自己的情况,我们不断利用任何条件创造“家”并且寻找生活中的目的及满足感。