On April 1, 2023, Peking University School of Transnational Law (STL) celebrated the 10th anniversary of its first and second graduating classes. Alumni from class of 2012 and class of 2013 returned to Peking University Shenzhen campus to reconnect with former classmates, professors and reminisce about old times. The event was organized by STL Alumni Office and co-organized by the "Home of Nanyan Alumni" student association of the Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School.
The alumni reunion took place on the afternoon of April 1, hosted by Assistant Dean Charly Zhang.
PKU Shenzhen Vice Chancellor Niu Hongwei, STL Assoicate Dean Mao Shaowei, Professor Douglas Levene, STL Visiting Professor Guo Zili from PKU Law School attended the event in person and delivered speeches. Ms. Huang Xiulan from PKU Shenzhen Alumni Office, STL Professors Sang Yop Kang, Norman Ho, Wu Yuhao, and Gilad Abiri also attended the event.
Vice Chancellor Niu Hongwei welcomed all the alumni and their families. He reviewed the development of Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School and STL over the past decade. “The establishment and growth of STL, PHBS, and other schools have contributed significantly to the internationalization of Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School and the achievement of its goal to become the "Southern Base of New Engineering", Niu said.
STL Dean Philip McConnaughay is on business trip and sent his greetings to the alumni via video. He introduced the achievements of STL in the past decade. During this period, STL's enrollment size has expanded nearly threefold, with continuously improving student quality. Graduates' employment locations and practice areas have become more diverse, and more high-quality employers recognize STL. STL graduates have excelled in the legal industry, with more and more being selected for honors such as Forbes China's 30 Under 30 and the LEGALBAND China's Top 30 Legal Elites, demonstrating their outstanding professional abilities to the world. At the same time, STL has attracted more and more world-class scholars, legal practitioners, and rising stars in academia as permanent and visiting professors. STL students have demonstrated their abilities beyond academics in different fields, serving as judicial assistants in domestic and foreign courts, and achieving excellent results in various levels of moot court competitions. They also have shown their care and concern for public interests by organizing various public legal activities to serve society. Finally, Dean McConnaughay wished all alumni continued success in their future careers.
Professor Douglas Levene was very pleased to see his first batch of students shine in various industries and achieve so much. He represented STL professors, who taught the first two classes such as Professor Mark Feldman and Professor Ray Campbell but could not attend the event today due to work, to send congratulations to returned alumni.
Professor Guo Zili was the instructor of Chinese Criminal Law course for the 2008 and 2009 classes. He said that university education focuses on the exchange of knowledge and the cultivation of comprehensive abilities among individuals. However, how to apply the knowledge learned in the classroom to daily practice is a problem that every graduate who has just entered the workplace must face. It requires everyone to hone themselves through daily social practice in their careers. He wished all graduates to achieve greater success in their future work and to promote progress in society and the legal industry. At the same time, he also advised everyone that "struggle is important, but it is also necessary to enjoy life."
In a speech delivered by Li Jiangfeng, a representative of the Class of 2012 alumni, she expressed her joy in reuniting with many old friends who she hadn't seen in years. The days of staying up late to read cases and organize notes over a decade ago seemed like just yesterday, and the laughter and joy among classmates still echoed in his ears. At the time, the students interpreted STL as Students Talented in Law, and the achievements of his classmates over the past 10 years have validated this. She expressed that the education provided by STL taught her to never take anything for granted, and to maintain enthusiasm for the legal industry throughout her long career. The rapid development of the economy and society, as well as the constant update and iteration of science and technology, remind us of our limitations as ordinary people, but at the same time, inspire us to pursue perfection. She said that she will continue to pursue higher goals in the future and go further on the path of legal career.
Shang Junmei, a representative of the Class of 2013 alumni, reviewed the gains brought to her by STL, as well as her career and growth changes over the past ten years. Ten years ago, our youthful faces were full of vitality, and ten years later, we have become more stable with a bit of anxiety; ten years ago, we had no money, but our hearts were focused, and ten years later, we have families and careers, occasionally staying up late at night for our loved ones or careers, struggling to sleep; ten years ago, we had no worries and looked forward to the future, ten years later, we cautiously ask ChatGPT what the future is." She remembered the last time she stood in front of her classmates to speak was during the first class monitor election in 2009, and now 14 years have passed in the blink of an eye. As the first class monitor of 2009 class, she felt proud and fortunate to have such a group of classmates. Finally, she wished that STL would continue to grow stronger in the future, and that all classmates would have a better future.
During the surprise "Cold Call" segment, 2008 alumni Li Chao and Long Binbin, and 2009 alumni Li Longfei and Cui Weihua were called upon to give speeches. Whether working in the legal industry or not, the achievements of STL alumni have accompanied them in the past and will continue to shine in their future lives. Alumni and current students of STL will also continue to write new chapters.
The alumni reunion meeting came to a close with the alumni chorus of "Yanyuan Qing" and songs reminiscing about their time at school.
Additionally, on the morning of April 1, STL Alumni Office invited several 2008 and 2009 alumni who have worked as in house counsel or lawyers for many years to share their industry insights and work experience with current students.
In the evening, returning alumni and professors gathered on the rooftop of STL building, eating barbecue and chatting in the evening breeze. The 10-year reunion was coming to an end amidst the sounds of laughter and joy, but the bonds of friendship would not end with the conclusion of the gathering.
From 2008 to 2023, from Building B to the current STL Building, STL has passed through 15 years of youthful vigor, showing its edge in creating and continuously cultivating top legal professionals, providing the necessary legal infrastructure for the development of the social economy and emerging strategic industries, supporting the network of world-class legal scholars and legal research institutions based in Shenzhen, and constantly striving for excellence in all these central aspects. STL has sent out batches of excellent graduates to various fields, fulfilling the national mission, and has produced satisfactory results in training foreign-related legal talents. In the future, STL will stay true to its original intention, forge ahead, and continue to contribute to the development of foreign-related legal system.