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On the morning of September 6, Tan Chang, a direct-track doctoral student of the Department of Earth System Science, Tsinghua University, addressed the inauguration ceremony of 2021 Graduate Students as a new student representative. The following is the full text of her speech:

Tan Chang, 2021 Doctoral Candidate of the Department of Earth System Science


Dear teachers and students,

Good morning!

I am Tan Chang, a 2021 direct-track doctoral student from the Department of Earth System Science. I am honored to speak here on behalf of the new graduate students.

Today, with glory and dream, we come from all corners of the country to gather on this campus distinguished for its rigorous scientific inquiry and profound cultural heritage. From today on, we will share a common name--Tsinghua people!

My connection with Tsinghua University originated two years ago, when I was a sophomore in Nanjing University. By chance, I heard the academic report on climate change and China’s sustainable development by Prof. Guan Dabo of the Department of Earth System Science, Tsinghua. Prof. Guan noted that he and his team had spent decades trying to build China’s carbon emission database with independent intellectual property rights from different dimensions such as the country, provinces and regions, and point sources, so as to provide data support for China’s global climate negotiations and enhance our voice in international discourse. The sense of mission and responsibility expressed by Prof. Guan left a deep impression on my mind. Since then, a seed of “Redbud” has been planted in my heart inspired by Tsinghua scholars’ sincere patriotism and broad academic vision. Over the past two years, I have been watering the seed with sweat for it to take root and sprout, which has also been spurring me on to make unremitting endeavors. Today, this seed has blossomed and borne fruit, and I am finally able to stand amidst the fascinating purple color typical of the Tsinghua campus, and together with every student present here, become a Tsinghua University graduate student.

“To do research is to make ceaseless inquiry until we know the nature of things.” We have come to Tsinghua at the prime of our youth, and Tsinghua also welcomes us with boundless possibilities. In the next three to five years of graduate studies, we will be working on the broadest and highest academic platform, and we should also be prepared to meet the coming challenges and hardships.

We should study hard, hone our skills, and draw inspiration for forging ahead. On September 22 last year, President Xi Jinping announced at the United Nations General Assembly that China would strive to achieve carbon peaking by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060. As a student studying industrial low-carbon transformation, I have been deeply inspired by these goals, determined to contribute to China’s sustainable development pathways. Over the past year, I have often shuttled between Tsinghua University and Nanjing University, humbly consulting many industry experts and leading figures on the technical bottlenecks, constraints and development opportunities of carbon peaking and carbon-neutral path construction, and participating in meetings and discussions. I cherish every opportunity to communicate with predecessors in the industry. Countless days and nights of diligent study have also equipped me with a deeper understanding of problems in the industry. During my graduate studies, I will continue to pursue research around the causes, impacts and responses of global climate change. I believe, as long as we keep focused and make pragmatic efforts, we will make contribution and earn our glory over time.

To break through boundaries, we should be bravely exploring and trying many possibilities. In a lecture of this year’s Summer Communist Youth League School, Prof. Fang Huijian encouraged us to uphold the glorious Tsinghua tradition of “political dedication, professional excellence, and all-round development”. In the investigation and practice of the Youth League School, I truly experienced the strong atmosphere of “attaching equal importance to five dimensions of education, i.e., moral, intellectual, physical, aesthetic and labor educations” in Tsinghua. While still thrilled by the novelty and excitement of being new in Tsinghua, I wish to seize the time to attend several lectures by doctoral lecturers, share the research results with my classmates in doctoral forums, “micro salons” and other activities, take part in a Color Run of the Graduate Sports Meet, watch The Malan Blossom play written and directed by Tsinghua students, and visit workshops and factories with my classmates in the required social practice courses for doctoral students to serve rural revitalization and industry. Let’s open our mind to the world of infinite possibilities, and get inspiration to break through boundaries in every thrill brought by Tsinghua.

Addressing practical needs, we should be enterprising and committed. Two years ago, during the decisive period of our campaign against poverty, I went deep into the villages and towns in Guizhou, Yunnan Province with a research group, when we discovered the crux of the mismatch between people, places and posts in the process of poverty alleviation through employment. Therefore, using our own specialties and professional advantages, we built a spatial supply and demand database, created a stable post model to optimize the spatial allocation of labor force, and contributed our effort to China’s success in shaking off poverty. Standing at the historical intersection of the “Two Centenary” Goals, we should be more proactive, turn what we have learned, studied and created into the ability to solve practical problems, and shape our brilliant youth with an enterprising and pioneering mindset on the high-spirited Tsinghua campus.

 Fellow students, today we stand at a new starting point, about to embark on a new journey. Let’s always maintain our insight and curiosity about new things and new phenomena, make the best of our time in the graduate programs, make concerted efforts to fulfill our lofty ideals as passionate youths, and contribute to the prosperity, national rejuvenation and people’s happiness in China.

Thank you all!


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