Be an innovative force for healthy development, Class of 2019 told | Duke Kunshan University

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Be an innovative force for healthy development, Class of 2019 told


With the world facing myriad challenges in public health and environmental protection, influential businessman Lawrence Tian called on graduates from Duke Kunshan’s Class of 2019 to become an innovative force for sustainable global development.

Tian, chairman of Mevion Medical Systems and founding partner of private equity firm Yuanming Capital, was the guest speaker at the university’s graduation ceremony for three master’s programs – medical physics, global health and environmental policy – on April 29.

“The world is in the process of tremendous change … with breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, information technology, new materials, new energy and biotechnology having a strong impact on individuals, industries and countries,” he said.

“You should become an innovative force in this era of change and an essential driving force for healthy social development. This is your call of duty.”

Tian, who has Ph.D. from Wuhan University, was a highly respected economist when, in the late 2000s, he was inspired by scientist and entrepreneur Sol Barer to switch focus to the medical industry.

He went on to establish Yuanming Capital, which invests in pharmaceutical research and development, innovative medical devices and high-end medical services. In 2018, the firm acquired Mevion, a company developing proton therapies for use in radiation treatment for cancer patients.

Lawrence Tian, chairman of Mevion Medical Systems, gives the commencement address

In his speech, he urged the graduates not only to innovate but also to have a sense of mission and to never stop learning.

“From now on, no matter whether in good times or bad, stay true to yourself and always pursue truth and belief on the journey of life,” he said. “I believe you have unlimited potential and possibilities to become pioneers and leaders in all walks of life.”

A total of 25 students received their degree certificates at the ceremony (full list below), with this year seeing the first graduating class for Duke Kunshan’s international master of environmental policy program (iMEP).

Another eight iMEP students will graduate at a ceremony at Duke University in the U.S. on May 12, while around 60 students in the master of management studies program will graduate at Duke Kunshan on May 17.

In addition to Tian’s speech, as well as opening and closing remarks by Duke Kunshan Chancellor Youmei Feng and Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs Haiyan Gao respectively, the ceremony on April 29 also featured class speaker Li Ting Chan, a medical physics graduate.

A native of Singapore, she used her address to highlight the unique benefits of studying at Duke Kunshan.

“Being at DKU has been a unique experience that has given us a more nuanced view of the challenges faced in cross-cultural communications, and it has also given us insight into how we might overcome these challenges,” Chan said.

“Even with our differences, we dream the same dreams and share the same goals.”

Class of 2019

Class speaker Li Ting Chan, a medical physics graduate

Master of science in medical physics

Pedro Henrique Bonfim Cardoso, Li Ting Chan, Deqi Chen, Shen-chiang Hu, Obed Laryea, Chenyang Liu, Songlin Sha, Xinzhi Teng, Chibuike Umeh, Gong Wang, Haonan Xiao, Jiang Zhang, Yao Zhao and Qi Zeng.


Master of science in global health

Qiping Fan, Yunfan Ge, Xiao Ji, Zixian Pan, Kamilla Anna Pinter, Jennifer Silva-Nash, Jingru Tan, Ying Yang and Duan Zhao.


Master of environmental policy

Fanyu Wang and Wen Zhang

(Yan Gao, Hanwei Xu, Xiaolin Xie, Cui Liu, Liuyang He, Qianzhe Huang, Kelley Reardon and Julie Mao will graduate at a ceremony held at Duke University on May 12.)