Students find creative ways to celebrate graduation

By Chen Yi-ching and Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Sun, Jun 09, 2013 - Page 3

Graduates from universities across the country yesterday marked the end of one journey and the beginning of another in a variety of creative ways.

Twenty graduates dressed in academic gowns from the National Taiwan Ocean University in Keelung City yesterday sailed in canoes to Keelung Islet (基隆嶼), about 7km from the Keelung Harbor Marina (小艇碼頭), while another 200 graduates traveled on fishing vessels and speedboats to the same destination.

On the islet, they attended a well-orchestrated commencement ceremony and received their diplomas from the university’s principal, Chang Ching-fong (張清風), who said the ceremony’s setting symbolized the university’s love of the ocean and its adventurous spirit.

On the eve of the ceremony, some graduates flew kites painted with bright colors and messages conveying their future goals, signifying the launch of their dreams as they moved to the next stage of life.

Meanwhile, graduates at National Tsing Hua University (NTHU) in Hsinchu City decided to “go green” on their graduation day, using pedal-powered LED lights and a “green tunnel” made of twigs, cones and fallen leaves as decorations for their ceremony.

Rather than using flowers, the students used paper from old notebooks to make 400 corsages.

They also made 50 “vegetable bouquets” by bundling cauliflowers, red peppers, celery and cabbage leaves, which they said would be cooked after the ceremony.

NTHU Institute of Sociology professor Wang Chin-shou (王俊秀), who helped the students plan the ceremony, said the students had only made 50 vegetable bouquets to leave some business to floral shops in the neighborhood.

“However, all the bouquets were sold out shortly after we began taking orders. There is a good chance that we will make more of these bouquets for future graduation ceremonies,” Wang said.

In New Taipei City’s (新北市) Huafan University, students chose to celebrate their graduation by unveiling a wall decorated with 600 ceramic tiles, featuring their names as well as words of encouragement to their junior schoolmates.

Graduates at Taipei-based Soochow University received their more than diplomas during yesterday’s ceremony, they also got an arc-top crystal seal engraved with the school’s badge and motto as a graduation gift.

“The seal represents discretion and honesty. By giving our graduates a seal inscribed with the school’s motto, we want to encourage them to be well-behaved in both words and deeds, and put a high value on honesty and integrity,” Soochow principal Pan Wei-ta (潘維大) said.