AU held its 2021 commencement online on June 5. Due to the impact of the pandemic, the graduates could not come to the campus to attend the ceremony in person. However, most students attended the ceremony online to celebrate this great event in their lives. Ms. Shiou-Yen Lu, mayor of Taichung City, also sent her video message to all the graduates in the ceremony.
Dr. Chang-hai Tsai, founder of the university, sent his congratulatory messages to all the graduates and encouraged them to pursue their career development with what they had learned on campus and to meet the future challenges with diligence and intelligence. He also observed that the outbreak of Covid-19 has affected our lives and that we have to care each other and work hand in hand to protect the people around us. With abundant medical and healthcare resources, AU and its hospital can play an active role in protecting the community from the rampage of the virus.
Dr. Jeffrey Tsai, President of Asia University, said in his opening address that the ceremony is held online for the safety of students and their parents because of the threat of the pandemic. However, he noted that the university faculty and staff made a double effort to prepare this unusual event for the graduates in the hope that this commencement can be a very special memory for them. President Tsai sent his congratulations to 3179 graduates in total from the undergraduate, MA and Ph.D. programs and states that he is especially gratified to see them become mature after the four years’ study at AU.
“This is the day of appreciation and gratitude!” President Tsai said to all the participants online. On behalf of the university, he would like to express his sincere appreciation to all the parents, teachers and staff who help, teach and support the students on campus and at home. He also mentioned that in the past few years the university has put a great deal of resources into the teaching and learning of AI knowledge and skill. To equip students with professional competitiveness in the future global job markets, the university offers many AI courses for every student from all colleges during their study at AU. The policy has witnessed some of its fruitful results as students have won more than 30 different awards in various national AI contests. In addition, AU emphasizes international vision and global mobility in its striving to become a world renounced university. In 2021, AU has attracted most exchange students from more than 30 countries and its outstanding performance is awarded by Ministry of Education and ranked no. 1 among 160 universities in Taiwan.
“This is also the day of expectation!” President Tsai emphasized to all the graduates. As he states, commencement is merely a beginning of a new stage of learning. In the future, AI and machine learning will take the place of many relatively simple job, those that are repetitious, and less complicated in nature. Therefore, he encourages all the graduates to cultivate their creative ability, to strengthen the interdisciplinary skills, to upgrade their aesthetic taste and judgement, and to treat people empathetically and humanely (these are the areas that AI has yet to master). In addition, they should make efforts to learn the programing language in order to use AI knowledge and resources in life and at the workplace.
President Tsai also encouraged all the graduates to use the professional skills and “soft power” they have learned at AU to contribute to the wellbeing of society. Last but not least, he closed with an an emotional reminder to all the alumni-to-be by saying that “Once an AU student, you will be an AU person forever.” Hence, they are always welcome to come back to the campus and share their experience and expertise with other students.