On May 27, 2017, the night before NYU Shanghai’s first inaugural commencement ceremony, the Shanghai Oriental Pearl Tower was lit with violet lighting - the color of NYU. With a breathtaking view of the Pearl Tower, graduating seniors, University leadership, friends and supporters of NYU Shanghai gathered in Lujiazui to celebrate the milestone accomplishment.
Chair of NYU Board of Trustees, William Berkley, together with NYU Shanghai Provost, Joanna Waley-Cohen greeted guests at the cocktail reception.
NYU Shanghai Chancellor, Yu Lizhong, and Vice Chancellor, Jeffrey Lehman gave their remarks. Yu Lizhong sent his special congratulations to the graduating student. “You can see from each of our students that how effective our education is, and how fantastic our students are, you can see their sense of responsibility and vision, and their love for the University”.
NYU President, Andrew Hamilton, also took the stage to thank all students and guests for being part of the joyous occasion. He expressed his deep gratitude to friends and supporters who have been tirelessly advocating for the success of NYU Shanghai. Hamilton said, “An university is defined by its alumni, and we are in very good shape with the NYU Shanghai’s first alumni class; but an university is also defined by its supporters and donors. It is with the help of all our most committed donors here today that NYU Shanghai has grown from nothing to today’s remarkable institution.”
President Chen Qun of East China Normal University, a founding partner of NYU Shanghai, also attended the event and sent his best wishes to the graduating class. On behalf of New York University, Chairman Berkley presented a special gift to President Chen - the very first book in the library of St. John's College (which became ECNU) that Berkley purchased from an antique book store in Minnesota.
Two students of the 2017 class impressed guests with a spectacular performance. The beautiful singing echoed the violet lighting of the Pearl Tower, witnessing the evening of celebration.
“Curiosity is the most special quality of the students of NYU Shanghai. It is what drives them to be eager to learn, to aspire to excel, to change themselves for the better, and to be courageous about building a different future. It is because of them that we gathered here tonight to celebrate their graduation and to send our best wishes for their future success.” said Feng Lun, Vice Chairman of NYU Shanghai Education Development Foundation and Chairman of F&E Asset Management in his closing remark.
Following a longstanding NYU tradition of lighting the Empire State Building violet for graduation, the Shanghai Oriental Pearl Tower was lit in the University’s colors for the evenings of Saturday, May 27 & Sunday May 28, from 7 PM - 10 PM, to honor the graduating Class of 2017.