YALE University President Richard C. Levin praised Zhuhai native Yung Wing for his contributions to education early last week during the Chinese-Foreign University Presidents'' Forum that coincides with the 150th Anniversary of Yung Wing''s graduation from Yale. The transcript of President Levin''s speech follows:
"Minister Zhou, Vice Minister Zhang, Vice President Huang, Chancellor Min, it is an honor to be here, to thank you for your leadership and partnership.
"Minister Zhou, I know I speak for all the presidents gathered here, from China and from abroad, in thanking you first for sponsoring the conference we begin tomorrow. But more importantly, we thank you for the leadership that you and your colleagues have provided to advance higher education in China and to promote educational collaboration around the world.
"I also want to acknowledge the fruitful collaboration Yale has enjoyed with the Chinese International Publishing Group for over a decade and to thank Minister Zhao for his support.
"The Culture & Civilization of China series has created an international community of scholars working both in China and abroad to produce outstanding scholarship on aspects of China''s cultural heritage. Books on Chinese art, architecture, and philosophy have already been produced, and, in the next few years, they will be joined by books on Chinese archeology, sculpture, textiles and calligraphy. The creation of knowledge and its dissemination through scholarly publications are at the heart of the university''s mission, and we are grateful to CIPG for giving Yale the opportunity to carry on this important work.
"On a personal level, I am deeply honored that CIPG has published my book, and I am grateful for the meticulous attention to detail involved in the production of this edition. But more importantly, I am grateful for and impressed by the commitment of CIPG to work in partnership with foreign scholars and publishers to advance the dissemination of scholarship both in China and around the world.
"This afternoon, we focus on a more venerable tradition of collaboration. As you have heard, this year represents the 150th anniversary of the graduation of the first Chinese student to earn a degree in a North American university, possibly the first Chinese student to earn a degree in any foreign university.
"Yung Wing''s story offers us important lessons that inspire us to continue to strive for closer association between China''s universities and foreign institutions.
"The first lesson is that generosity of spirit is often needed to initiate something new and entirely untried. It was a Yale graduate from the United States working in Southern China who spotted the talented Chinese boy, Yung Wing, sponsored his passage to the United States, and arranged for his educational studies.
"The second lesson is one we see daily on our campuses. Students must be adventuresome as well as bright to be highly successful. Yung Wing endured a 98-day passage to get to Yale. When he entered the college, he was quick to get involved: he sang in the choirs, played football, joined the Boat Club, and showing the academic prowess we see in so many of our current Chinese students, he won two academic prizes - for English composition.
"The third lesson is one I try to cultivate in our students today. Yung Wing developed a sense of obligation to help others as he had been helped. In his final year as a student at Yale, he dreamed of enabling many other Chinese youths to study abroad so that they could return to China well equipped to contribute to China''s modernization and advancement.
Editor:Dawn Source: The Voice Of Zhuhai, By: