Remarks by University President at the NTNU Centennial Celebration
Distinguished guests, alumni, faculty, staff, and students: good morning!
Welcome to the centennial celebration of National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU). On behalf of our school, I would like to thank all of you for attending today’s celebration. I would also like to express my deepest thanks to our alumni and sister universities from around the world for your well wishes. Your support and encouragement make today’s events even more meaningful.
In 2006, I was visiting professor at the University of Cambridge for one year. While there, I visited the famous Cavendish Lab and saw the portraits of 29 Nobel Laureates hanging on its walls. I also visited Trinity College, where I saw the apple tree whose fruit is said to have fallen on Newton’s head (the tree is actually an offspring of the original tree). An evening walk on the streets of Cambridge transported me back to the Middle Ages. I began to wonder: What sort of atmosphere, what sort of environment was it, that helped to make Cambridge into a world-class university?
In 2007, I was back at NTNU. One evening, while I was observing our historical buildings—the Auditorium and the Administration Building—I felt a sense of déjà vu. I could almost feel the presence of historical figures on our campus. It was as if I could see them there, discussing topics of great importance, or going about their own business, not caring what the world thought of them, or working steadily on their chosen tasks.
Not only were they passing down tradition; they were also making history, one small step after another. That is what NTNU is all about. Over the past century, a number of important historical figures have passed through our gates. We have made a significant contribution to the cultivation and nurturing of talent in Taiwan.
During the last century, NTNU has undergone a tremendous development. Our journey began in 1922, when we were the Taihoku High School, advocating for freedom and autonomy. In 1946, we became an institution responsible for training secondary school teachers. Our motto, then as now, was: sincerity, integrity, diligence, simplicity.
Today we have grown into a comprehensive university, committed to diversity and excellence. We have been true to our mission of nurturing and cultivating talent for our society and nation, and over the years more than 170,000 students have graduated from our school. They have made, and continue to make, important contributions in a variety of fields, in all walks of life.
In recent years, we have also done remarkably well in terms of our academic rankings both domestically and internationally. For five consecutive years, NTNU has been ranked as the top university in Taiwan in the humanities and social sciences category. We are also ranked among the top 100 universities in the world in four subjects: education, library and information management, sports, and linguistics.
In terms of international cooperation, the number of international students studying at our school has grown steadily. We have established partnerships with such world-renowned universities such as Yale University, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Kyushu University, University of Pennsylvania, and University of Maryland.
We are also collaborating with the industry, and our cooperation with several well-known companies in Taiwan has recently led to the establishment of the College of Industrial Innovation and Research.
Nor have we spared any efforts when it comes to networking with our alumni. We recently established, for example, the NTNU Heritage Foundation of North America. We also organized the Alumni Forum, and hosted the 30th and 40th reunions for the Class of 1971 and the Class of 1981, respectively. Our painstaking efforts have yielded fruitful results.
On this important occasion, we would also like to recognize, as we have in the past anniversary celebrations of our university, the distinguished achievements of several members of our community. The recipients of the Outstanding Alumni Award are Mr. Chun-Hwai Su, for his outstanding achievements in the business world, and Professor Lien-Shang Wu, for his contributions to higher education. In addition, Professor Li-Fei Wang, of the Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling, is the recipient of the National Excellent Teacher Award from the MOE, for her selfless dedication to the cause of education.
We will also be presenting awards in the following categories: Distinguished Senior Professor, Distinction in Teaching, Distinction in Service, Excellence in Teaching, Excellence in Research, Outstanding Staff Member, Outstanding Campus Security Guard, Outstanding Technician, Distinguished Student, and Excellent Student in Social Practice.
The recipients of these accolades and honors are the pride of NTNU. They are role models for our faculty, staff, and students.
To conclude, I sincerely hope that NTNU will continue to have the backing of our distinguished guests, alumni, faculty, staff, and students. Your support and encouragement will allow our school to be worthy of its century-old tradition. It will enable us to create another outstanding legacy during the next one hundred years.
Happy 100th Birthday to NTNU! May our beloved school continue to prosper and flourish in the years to come!
I wish you all good health, peace, and happiness.
Thank you, everyone.