This is President Rosenberg’s ninth annual blog chronicling the TUC-FIU partnership, the annual China Commencement and our students in China. Here is his second blog post; to read his first blog post, click here.
As we approached Tianjin for our first round of graduations, I could not help but notice how the landscape had changed with the relentless construction of high-rise residential towers for the country’s urbanizing population. The scale of China is beyond anything that we know and understand in the United States. The population of Tianjin is already 14 million and growing rapidly.
Our partner, the Tianjin University of Commerce, is gradually expanding and improving its facilities and premise. Baozhen Ge has been president for two years. He is a reformer and modernizer — and the university reflects his touch. He has high hopes to expand our partnership and would like to see more FIU students studying at TUC.
This afternoon at the university, our students hosted their pre-graduation talent show. It featured 13 performances of singing, dancing and musical entertainment by graduating students and some of the FIU-TUC faculty. Some of our staff report that this cohort of students is particularly close, demonstrating that the college experience is not just about learning in the classroom but as well about the bonds that are created outside of class that will likely last a lifetime. This group of students has spent at least two years together very tightly bound to the shared experiences of a demanding curriculum and living together. Some tears were already being shed on the stage as the students performed together for one last time before their Sunday graduation elegy.
While at the performances, I had the opportunity to meet and talk with the class valedictorian Linzhe Shi, who also danced in a couple of the routines. Linzhe is one of the reasons we do what we do at FIU. The personable senior is graduating with a 3.9 GPA and a very high TOEFL score. She has already been admitted to Johns Hopkins University to get a master’s in finance. She is undecided about what to do after, but I assured her that she should come to FIU to get her Ph.D. In the meantime, I told her about FIU in DC as a possible home away from home. The graduating student has held numerous internships in the finance program of the Shanghai Marriott Hotel as well as on the Shanghai Stock Exchange. She clearly is on her way, and we are so proud that we could have been a part of her education.