With major events for Soochow’s 120th birthday celebration postponed to October, the University celebrated for now with a prayer ceremony on March 16th, 2020, at Ward Memorial Methodist Church in its Waishuangsi Campus. The school administration also hoped to bring peace and comfort to all the faculty, staff, students and alumni of Soochow University, as well as people who suffer from coronavirus around the world.
To avoid possible group infection, the attendees were limited to only the directors of the administrative and academic units, the choir and staff members of Ward Memorial Methodist Church. The ceremony was live broadcasted for other faculty, staff, students and alumni in the form of online stream.
The ceremony began with a photo memoir of Soochow’s old days, bringing back numerous precious memories through a series of black-and-white photos with chronological notes as the founding fathers and important figures in the school’s history appeared one by one on the screen. The former chairman of board of directors Chung-Hui Wang, former presidents C.Y. Stone (Chao-Yong Shih) and Joseph K. Twanmoh were among the most missed, and are all remembered along with others as builders of the University and its motto “Unto A Full Grown Man.
Following the photographic sketch was a video titled Soochow’s Two Cycles of 60 Years with “Because of You” as a major theme, showing in a fast-forward style the daily lives of the University’s students, teachers, security guards, janitors, and even cafeteria employees. The video conveyed the idea that everyone in the school is an important part of this big family, and Soochow University becomes what it is “because of you (them).”
After watching the photos and video, President Wei-Ta Pan gave his thanks and paid tribute to all the people who had or have contributed to Soochow. Then he prayed for peace and safety to everyone and the school with other attendees, including Vice President Bau-Tscheng Dung, Vice President Wei-Liang Chao, the supervisors of administrative units, deans of academics, and some alumni such as Peng-Liang Lin (Class of 1977, Dept. of English), and Rong-Xin Chen (Class of 1981, Dept. of Law).
The prayer, led by the presider, master of ceremony, and minister Fu-Hua Sun (Class of 1978, Dept. of Chinese Literature), proceeded with participants saying prayers and singing worship songs, before rounded off with everyone singing the school anthem. All the attendants prayed for those suffering from the coronavirus pandemic and wished people in the University, in Taiwan and all over the world peace and joy.
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