Through a creative grand march, exciting sports competitions, multi-cultural carnivals of dormitories, school fairs, as well as a welcome party for alumni, Soochow celebrated its 118th birthday at Waishuangsi Campus on Saturday, March 17th, 2018. Under this year’s slogan “Soochow’s 118th: Stay Young All the Way,” the celebration and a sports meet started with a dragon and lion dance and the beating of gongs and drums, hoping to bring happiness and good luck as well as to show the University’s enthusiasm, perseverance and creativity.
The highlight of the opening ceremony was the creative grand march. With all the alumni, staff, faculty, and students gathering on the school’s field, everyone made an all-out effort trying to win the big prizes. A few impressive slogan chantings with puppets and plots for the grand march won the creative prizes for the Office of Academic Affairs, the Office of Student Affairs, and the Office of General Affairs. With the well-organized performances or dances and a variety of creative, professional, hand-made placards, all the administrative units and academic departments gave their best blessings to Soochow with youthful vigor.
In the opening ceremony, President Wei-Ta Pan also gave special thanks to teachers, students and alumni from all over the world for their enthusiastic participation in the celebration of the school’s 118th birthday. School board chairman Shao-Yu Wang mentioned that SCU students now are in the school’s best time in the past 100 years as they don’t have to go through devastating wars or get denied to a chance to go to college due to low admission rate. He encouraged every student to be skilled in a field and lay solid foundations for the future. Ji-Ren Liu, Board Director of SCU Alumni Association, expressed his gratitude to the alumni in Taiwan for their efforts to re-establish the school. He urged students to contribute to their alma mater and join the alumni association as Soochow’s strongest supporters after they become the backbones of the society.
Following the gospels by the Chaplain’s Office was the exciting sports competitions, including students’ 3000-meter race and the all-around challenge that required great teamwork. In the gym was this year’s innovative and fun event -- the basketball and volleyball all-star games -- where elite players carefully selected from both Waishuangsi and Downtown campuses played against each other. They were joined by Taiwan’s women basketball players in the 2017 Taipei Universiade, including Ling-Juan Huang, Qing Yang, Yi-Xiu Zheng, Yu-Ting Lin, Ping Luo, Wei-An Chen, Yann Han, and Yu-Lian Xu. They played a friendship game while having fun together and doing a little "CoinciDance," leading the audience to shout out "Happy 118th Birthday to Soochow University!"
In addition, SCU’s Health and Counseling Center introduced two types of apps "COFIT" and "Taipei Weight Management" in a try-out program that promoted the experience of personalized health database. The two apps, which are free for download, may track calories and control diets based on each user’s own height and weight, as well as use technology to check the user’s health conditions.
In the campus dorms, a multi-cultural carnival that expanded for the first time from the dormitories’ public area to the Jingxi Road Cultural Trail created a different, reminiscent atmosphere. With this year’s theme "In Between," which was inspired by the life of a college dormitory, the event’s interactive exhibitions, micro-bazaars, and independent publications allowed the guests to travel through the three dorms and explore the lives in there.
Other highlights came from many Soochow alumni. "The 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s Alumni’s Family Reunion," "Appreciation Banquet for Alumni," as well as a ceremony of reverence, all held by the Alumni Service and Resource Development Center, were to thank all SCU fund donors, alumni, faculty and the VIP guests for their support, love and contribution to Soochow.
Three alumni of the 75th class from the English Department, Dao-Ming Lin, Zhi-Cheng Lin and Li-Fen Liu, organized a “SCU Alumni’s Joint Exhibition of Painting and Calligraphy” to display 30 poems and paintings of theirs to celebrate their alma mater’s 118th birthday.
For the first time, the “Appreciation Banquet for Alumni” was held with a traditional open-air style at the sky garden on the 6th floor of the D building, where alumni and VIP guests enjoyed performances of teachers, students and alumni in a lively and warm atmosphere while savoring panoramic views of the campus. In the banquet, President Pan, School Board Chairman Wang, and Board Director of Alumni Association Liu cut the birthday cake together and wished SCU a happy 118th birthday.
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