Far from the fluorescent lights of Shanghai and the history-laden streets of Beijing lies a starkly different China — a China where bicycles are more prevalent than cars and where private family homes with adjoining small farms are more common than sky-high apartment buildings.
Like a waving silk ribbon, the crowd flowed up and down, up and down with a rhythm of passion and consistency. There were infants, parents, students, grandparents, workers, vagabonds, sports teams, security guards, corporate sponsors, ambassadors and too many other attendees to count or describe.
“Adversities only make our country stronger,” the leadership of the All-China Students Federation told the Ivy League Student Delegation in a heartfelt recap of the devastation caused by the Wenchuan Earthquake – a natural disaster that has since left over 65,000 Chinese residents of the Sichuan Province dead, over 4.8 million homeless and over 23,000 missing.
The air was damp and the view clouded by smog, but at about 10:30 p.m. on May 27, 25 students from eight U.S. colleges and universities entered the Capital Hotel in the central city of Beijing, the capital of China. After travelling for 13 hours before landing at the ultra-sustainable Beijing Airport, the students, part of the first-ever Ivy League Student Delegation, enthusiastically began their 10-day excursion through Mainland China.
“Let us take time out so that we are able to better the lives of others.” This was the final piece of advice that Dr. Maya Angelou, world-renown poet and author, gave to Cornell’s graduating Class of 2008 during her Convocation address on May 24 in Schoellkopf Stadium.
Cornell’s 140th Commencement took place this weekend as graduating seniors received their diplomas and left the home they have come to know during the past four years.
Senior Class President Vince Hartman ’08 instructed his fellow classmates to keep strong ties with Cornell.
On May 16, members of the Cornell community including President David Skorton gathered in Sage Chapel for an evening of remembrance honoring those who died in China after a powerful earthquake occurred in the Sichuan province. The 7.9-magnitude earthquake that took place on May 12 has since left 51,000 people dead, nearly 300,000 injured and over 29,000 missing. According to the Associated Press, the disaster also left 5 million people homeless and destroyed more than 80 percent of the buildings in some remote towns and villages.
Location: Hucktown. Population: 1,000. Crime: none. Drugs: None. Domestic violence: none. Government: the moral compass. Seem “mythical”? It is. But, according to Mike Huckabee, it is not too far fetched. In his speech in Bailey Hall yesterday, Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas, painted a picture of Hucktown to offer the audience a glance of what life could be in a world where institutional government is second to the internal moral rule of a given populous.
Sage Chapel is giving students a chance for Sunday afternoon study break to offer more than coffee and the noise of Libe Café; its new interfaith services at 4 p.m. fuse spirituality and intellect, tranquility and questioning, silent reflection and musical performance.
Rev. Kenneth Clarke, director of Cornell United Religious Works, and Janet Shortall, assistant director of Cornell United Religious Works, have led a committee with an innovative approach to spirituality that aims to speak to students’ interests and concerns.