On October 20, 2018, NAU celebrated its inaugural homecoming day on the Weigang campus to welcome back its alumni. More than 300 graduates from North America, Japan and across the country participated in the event.
At 9:00 am, the Homecoming Day was officially launched in the auditorium of the Student Activity Center.
Zhang Hongsheng introduced the background and significance of the event at the launch ceremony. Sun Jian joined several former students—Shi Yixiu of the Class of 1968, Sun Lin of the Class of 1978, and Gong Guoliang of the Class of 1984—to push the launch ball to start the ceremony.
Hu Feng gave a welcome speech at the launch ceremony, in which he introduced NAU’s accomplishments in discipline development, scientific research, talent development, international cooperation and agricultural support, as well as its contributions to China’s Belt and Road initiative. On behalf of NAU, he extended gratitude to the attention and support given by the alumni over the years and called upon participants to strengthen ties and increase their visits to the university as well as contribute their perspectives, insights and recommendations for NAU’s development.
Four professors as faculty representatives presented emblems with different meanings to 12 alumnus representatives who respectively graduated 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 years ago.
As a faculty representative, Prof. Gu Huanzhang gave a speech, followed by speeches given by Zhang Fengxiang, a student of agriculture of the Class of 1978, and Wu Ying, a student of plant protection of the Class of 1998, on behalf of the alumni.
Prof. Gu emotionally shared his memories of how he studied, worked and lived at NAU over the past 58 years and expressed his heart-felt gratitude to the university. He also encouraged participants to balance life and work at different stages of life and stay happy.
Zhang Fengxiang and Wu Ying also shared their nostalgic memories of university life and said how they were amazed by NAU’s transformative changes, adding that they are proud of being NAU graduates and wishing NAU a brighter future.
Wang Yaonan presented certificates of donation to alumni Zong Guoping and Wu Tianma, who donated books to NAU.
After the launch ceremony, which was closed against a cheerful music background of the university anthem, the alumni visited the alumni museum and the agricultural history museum.
At noon, they came to the student cafeteria for free lunch meals, which were specially prepared to give them a nostalgic taste of meals they had in the company of their fellow students.
In the afternoon, the alumni paid a visit to a chrysanthemum exhibition located at NAU’s chrysanthemum farm. Members from the Shanghai and Nanjing Alumni Associations also played a friendly soccer game.
In the future, the 3rd weekend of every October will be celebrated by NAU as a homecoming weekend, when a variety of activities will be organized to give alumni a great homecoming experience.