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President Dr. Ray's Commencement address: Be the best you can be

Release time:2021-06-13 11:03

      To our dear Guanghua Cambridge 2021 graduates, distinguished leaders Guanghua Education and brother school, teachers, parents, the founding team of Guanghua Cambridge, and other alumni – Great afternoon for every one of you!

      Today, we are here to celebrate the ninth graduation and the tenth-anniversary celebration of Guanghua Cambridge, so this ceremony has some monumental meaning.


      Last Friday, which is your last day in school, many teachers received your letter of gratitude surprisingly. Well-written and tear-jerking letters with your feeling filled the entire campus with delight, happiness, but also shrouded by sweet sorrow. I believe your future is bright for such a class of students who know how to be grateful.

      Time flies like an arrow, three years have passed in the blink of an eye. I still remember the scenes during the admission talking with the parents of Yangzhou Xia, Shan Cheng, Chenru Wang, Can Yu, Kaifeng Li, Sihe Hu, Zhizhen Chen, and others. I still have the gratitude letter with the emotion from Zhihe Lei, Yuzheng Lin, and Jinjing Yang during my most difficult period. We always get courage when communicating with Tianxiong’s Zhu mother and Xiangfei’s Wang father. I still remember Bo Cao, Yinyan Lai, Shiqi Qiu’s brilliant performance in English dramas. Remember your unique and lifelike artworks in Yuanpei Building. I cannot imagine the female basketball team without Xiao Jinghui, the male basketball team without Tianxiong Zhu, the female volleyball team without Zhihe Lei, the badminton team without Zhengyang Cao, and the male soccer team without Zhuowei Chen. I don’t know the student union without Xinzhe Jiang and Xinyu Zhuge can still be energetic. The Christmas welcome party without you, would it still be so attractive? Nonetheless, will your junior schoolmate get the highest scores of China/worlds just like you?


     In the past three years, you have experienced the relocation of the campus, and the combination of the schools. You took the challenge from the pandemic, online teaching, the cancellation of the exam, and the tense international situation. It means you are the most experienced student in Guanghua. Perhaps these external turbulences accelerated your growth. We can feel the progress in these years, especially during the A2 stage. Every teacher gave you their best recognition. Even in the most difficult application season, you also achieved excellent grades. Teachers and parents are sincerely proud of your growth and achievements.

      The last few years have been the period that school has changed the most. Before 2018, Guanghua Cambridge was still a rising star for education. What we had was the good reputation of parents. Since 2018, after substantial improvements in school facilities, our school has not only maintained excellent data in the enrolment rate but also made tremendous progress in the aspects of club activities, music, sports, etc... The school has developed rapidly and became one of the most popular A-level schools for Shanghai or even for China. After ten years of effort, Guanghua Cambridge finally became what everyone expected. Today, I’d like to take this opportunity to share with you my journey over these years.


       An individual’s fate is closely related to the era. In 2005. After returning from studying in the U.K., I was fortunate enough to join the Cambridge international center of Shanghai Normal University (now Lingke Education). I am so grateful to Mr. Xunan Liang, chairman of Lingke Education, for inviting me to be the first Dean of the Center without meeting me in person. Since then, I have entered the field of beloved international education. At that time, most people remain skeptical about the path of attending high school in China but register for foreign universities. Fortunately, the first batch of parents has enough courage to let everyone else see the advantages of this path, which gave birth to a huge field of international education. In the early days of running a new school, I not only experienced various hardships but also see many anecdotes. At the same time, I am also fortunate to witness the development stage of international education from small to large, from weak to strong.


      After joining Guanghua Education Group in 2011, I was once again very lucky to meet Dr. Yuzong Lu and other colleagues from Guanghua Education group. We founded Guanghua Cambridge in a brand-new model. Here, I want to give my thankfulness to Mr. Lu for gave the school full autonomy without knowing me completely. I also appreciate the teachers of the founding team who are here today. Thank you for your trust in me and started a new business with me together at that time.

       Back at that time, the field of international education still lacked the guidance of cultural concepts. Therefore, Guanghua Cambridge attracted the attention of parents by insisted that “A good education system should not only provide children a pair of sized shoes. It should allow students to discover and be the best of themselves.” In the past ten years, the deepest experience I have learned is that we have built up cultural self-confidence, whether as a school or as a country.

       In the beginning, we did not know how to determine the management framework of this new school? How to set up a functional framework? How to convergence Chinese and Western cultures? Who should be the principal of the school? Should the school be “ English only”? Many schools have made assorted attempts and tried to adopt teaching methods and management models of other countries. However, they will realize that it is the adequate one which is the best.


       For Chinese children, Chinese education still needs to be focused on the children’s characteristics and base on Chinese cultural values. There is no good or bad between cultures. Only head to the direction of localization and combine the strength of both culture.

Therefore, we can run an international curriculum school that satisfies parents and accepted by the society


       Most people who know me do not believe that I can become the principal of the school in my career. Because I’m a straightforward person, not good at speech, timid, stubborn, immature, and not “good” enough. I’m not an individual with great ambitions. All I want is to find a job in a college, live comfortably and peacefully.


      Destiny did not arrange me like that. I was left in the torrent of this era. However, I became much stronger because if I don’t do so, I will be left behind. Over these years, nothing comes ahead of its time, and nothing ever happened that didn't need to happen. Life is full of surprises. This may be the wonder of life, which makes you full of awe and anticipation.

       I am very grateful for this era so that an ordinary woman can become the best herself. Simultaneously, I also found out that every personality has its advantage and disadvantage. Naive people will make working relationships easier; timid people will follow steady courses. They also won’t be aggressive and makes others feel threatened. I saw a comment and get encouraged, it says” successful people are mostly reserved”. In these years, I noticed many successful entrepreneurs have very different personalities. Rather than saying that” character determines destiny”, I believe” value determines destiny”. A person who treats others well, treats the world well, positive, optimistic, enterprising, firm. No matter what kind of personality that person is, he/she has the opportunity to live a good life.


       We have always been on the road to doing our best since the establishment of Guanghua Cambridge. Be the best of yourself means understanding your strengths and weaknesses. Find the right job at the right time is a great fortune in a person’s life. During high school, I have always among the best, so while choosing my university and its major, I didn’t consider whether it fits me or not. I chose an engineering college; however, I was particularly weak in physics. Therefore, I am destined to not have much success during the university. I already studied computer science in 1983, but perfectly missed the golden age of the development of IT. In other words, when you are doing something that you are not good at, all the opportunities won’t be yours. Later, I got a Ph.D. in applied mathematics, and I was lucky enough to enter the fast track of international school development and started a new life journey full of challenges in my 40s.


      Be the best of yourself means accepting ordinariness because there is always someone better than you. The world is fair. No one can make money beyond the scope of his/her cognition. Everyone’s life is determined by his/her choice at a critical moment. People always pay the price while trying to recognize themselves. However, you don’t try, find, or even fail, you never know the height you can reach. When I have tried my best, I should calmly accept whatever the result is. Everyone can have a dream, not everyone’s dream can be reached. There is nothing necessary in life. We often talk about” benevolence, courage, wisdom”. Trying to change what you can is called “courage”, accepting what you can’t do is called “benevolence”, and the ability to distinguish the difference between these two is called” wisdom”. Many troubles in life should be solved by our wisdom.


      There are too many people to show gratitude along this way. First, I would like to thank every staff of Guanghua Cambridge. You are sentimental, caring, cool, and responsible. Never afraid before difficulties, never hesitate before choices. We turn difficulties into opportunities for our development again and again.  We persistently trying to plant flowers in the desert. You used your best age to grow along with Guanghua Cambridge. You are the creators of Guanghua Cambridge. Thank you all!


      At the same time, I also want to thank the class of 2021 of Guanghua Cambridge and their parents. When the school temporarily decided to move and the future is full of mist, you still chose to trust and stay with us. I hope the development of the school in the past years has not disappointed everyone. I appreciate everyone who still stays with us after these challenges and turbulences.

      Nonetheless, I would like to thank the first few graduates and the parents who are here or not. In the year with no grade and without complete school buildings, friends who chose Guanghua Cambridge and supported us for these years, it must be true love to school. Without your support, without you advertise, Guanghua Cambridge would not be what it is today.


      I also want to give my thank to my colleagues in the field of A-Level. This would be a lonely road without your accompany. The positive competition among us promoted the improvement of the entire field of international education. Moreover, provide more opportunities for our students to choose. In the end, thanks to Mr. Lu and other colleagues from Guanghua Education Group for the support of schoolwork. Thanks for your tolerance and trust in our team, it encouraged us to work harder and achieved the best Guanghua Cambridge.

      Turn around, time witnesses a story; look back, time becomes a memory. We have met many people, experienced many things, and witnessed the ups and downs in these ten years.  Every entrepreneur is worthy of admiration, and every striver is worthy of respect.

The best of a person is that his eyes have stories, but his face has no vicissitudes.  The happiest time in life is when we are chasing our dreams and we are always on the path.


      Thank you all! Happy graduation! Visit your home often!

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