EMF 2018 Opening Ceremony - Convocation speech by student representative David Zhang

Release time:2018-09-20    

September 8th, 2018
David Zhang
fisf, FUDAN University, SHANGHAI

Professors, faculty, friends, and graduates of the greatest institute in the world?

There is a campus to get to know, there is a city to get to know - and it is full of people who may initially seem to be a box of difference but share one thing that is the most important to you and the most important to being here: the desire to be responsible, excellent, and innovative.

We are embarking on this new chapter at a time that is not just consequential for your own lives, but also critical for the country and the world. Throughout this year, we have heard threats of anti-globalization, we’ve seen frightening examples of profit maximization in medical industry, devastating exchange rate in Turkey, Argentina, and violence in fighting for gender equality. At such a moment what should a graduate education be and what should it mean? And what indeed is an international finance school? How do we think about its responsibilities — our responsibilities — at such a challenging and unsettled time in our country and in the world?

Therefore, I want to build on what President Qian just said and to reaffirm our values. Again, I want to challenge you to behave like water and do three things as water:

First, responsible. 2000 years ago, as Taoism philosophy embraced, greatest kindness is like water, water brings all benefits to all kinds of things without getting payment. We, this generation, grow in the benefits of our predecessors who devote themselves to where we live in. However, we are confronted with different kinds of issues. Some pursues first and set fire on the trade with $50 billion tax, independent of the wellbeing of the general public. Some take advantage of selling expense to sustain their gray income but devastate our children. I would not say they are responsible and things still happen. Another $200 billion, another medical company are all our considerations now. Also, we are experiencing the darkest time in the stock market, with PE 14.8 & PB 1.6. So, we have the responsibility to make a difference, make an ocean, with openness, with integrity, with confidence, which shall witness the SH-LON stock connect, better R&D in medical industry, better taxi overseers, which shall meet better China and better world. This is the struggle of our time. The forces of kindness, freedom, and openness against the forces of authoritarianism, isolationism and nationalism. Forces for the flow of knowledge and trade against those who would slow them down. This is not a battle of nations, it's a battle of ideas. There are people in every country for global connection and good people against it. This isn't going to be decided only here either. It's going to happen at the local level, when enough of us feel a sense of purpose and stability in our own lives that we can open up and start caring about everyone. The best way to do that is to keep learning with the belief that learning brings you closer to the one who you want to be and the world you want to live in.

Second, excellent. Since the founding of FISF, we have pursued and celebrated excellence, but not for the sake of excellence. We pursue excellence as a means to make the world a better place. In our three years here, we will seek to support each other as a family and to help each other nurture the betterment of the world. Confucius said, the wise people are fond of mountain, the benevolent people are found of water. We have both mountain and water, so we can share the wise opinion and learn from benevolent people.

Third, innovative. Water never stops flowing, and it keeps changing its shape all the time. Water is so innovative that will be far-reaching finally. In our society, we often don't do big things because we're so afraid of making mistakes that we ignore all the things wrong today if we do nothing. The reality is, anything we do will have issues in the future. But that can't keep us from starting. The road to discovery is full of failed attempts. Think of yourself not as a student merely completing assignments to your professor’s specification, but as an adventurer, a discoverer primed to try new things, adopt new approaches. Nobody can forget the Zhongxing issue, good news is that its stock price is increasing by 20% recent two weeks. And we still can not predict the future of Zhongxing, Huawei, and Geli, all of which are fond of inventing chips. But they indeed deserve our respect and applaud since their innovations contribute our daily lives. I know many of you, my friends, majored in physics, chemistry, and computer science before. I am so proud of you, maybe, one day in the future, you will be the leading guy in that innovation ideas.

Finally, do not worry how to approach your time here in FISF – always keep in mind, we are a family, and we can behave more than water.

Welcome, Class 2021
Congratulations, Class 2021