The all-night rain and constant drizzle for most of the day gave Sichuan University a wet day for sending off their graduates.
The graduation ceremonies had to be moved from outside to in after the first group of graduates had commencement this morning. I was very impressed by the speed of the campus workers. They had the huge stage moved inside in just 3 hours, including hundreds of decorative flower pots filled with carnations. These were impressively arranged on the auditorium stage floor to welcome in the afternoon graduates.
I attended the afternoon ceremonies, from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., although I did go over earlier in the morning to check out the rain situation.
As I had expected, there were very few families present among the 5,000 + graduates who filled the hall. Each college or major followed after a sign held high which announced who they were: Chemistry department, Law School, Foreign Languages Department, Management Department, Economics Department and so on bobbed through the crowded rows to find the proper section. It was a bit of a chaotic jumble getting everyone inside and into their proper seats, which took an hour.
A few squatters had to be kicked out of prominent center aisles, which miffed them a bit. One was a father videotaping everything. Despite being harried by the school organizer to move, he wouldn’t. Thus he and his wife sat, quite pleased with their vantage point, while being sandwiched between thousands of gowned Chinese graduates.
I must say it was organized getting people inside on such short notice. Plus the move indoors proved a good one. Once inside, the rain began yet again.
One very sweet moment in the ceremony was after the 20 leaders and distinguished professors filed in to sit alongside the head podium at their long table. After each person was announced, he or she stood to the applause and cheers of the students. The person who received the most was an elderly woman with white hair who basically brought down the house. I have no idea who she was but she obviously is a beloved professor of many students.
Below, you will find a photographic journey of the event.
On a rainy Sunday in Chengdu, here’s wishing you “Ping An!” (Peace)