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Peking University School of Transnational Law Celebrates its Largest Graduation Ceremony Since its Founding

On May 25, Peking University School of Transnational Law (STL) celebrated its largest graduation ceremony since its founding. Nearly 500 students, faculty, staff and family members from all over the world gathered at the International Conference Center of Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School to celebrate the successful graduation of 164 students from the STL Class of 2024.


Dr. Xie Chenyang, Vice President and Chief Legal Officer of Foxconn Industrial Internet, delivered a keynote speech. Professor Mark Feldman, Interim Dean of STL, Professor Jeffrey Lehman, Founding Dean of STL, Professor Cao Fei (faculty representative), and graduate representatives Kong Jiaqi (JD/JM), Li Yuning (JD/JM) and Edward Alexy (LLM) also delivered speeches.

STL Interim Dean Mark Feldman

In his opening remarks, STL Interim Dean Mark Feldman observed,“2020 and 2024. Those are, for a law school experience, two noteworthy bookends. For our JD/JM graduates, you started at STL in the summer of 2020, during the depths of a pandemic. You are graduating in the spring of 2024, entering a challenging legal market.”

Despite many challenges, the four-year experience at STL has been valuable and fulfilling, and this unique learning experience will serve as a solid foundation for facing unknown challenges, said Prof. Feldman.

“To our JD/JM graduates, to our LLM graduates, congratulations. You are joining a formidable network of more than 1,000 STL graduates who are influencing the development of transnational law, international business and international policy at the highest levels,” said Prof. Feldman.

Prof. Jeffrey Lehman, Founding Dean of STL and Vice Chancellor of NYU Shanghai.

“Today’s world is, is in so many ways, not at all what we expected it would be when you started out back in 2020.," said Prof. Jeffrey Lehman, Founding Dean of STL and Vice Chancellor of NYU Shanghai.

2024 is not going as expected, Prof. Lehman said. “If anything, STL graduates, we should appreciate even more the special qualities you developed during the past four years and the difference those qualities can make in the years ahead.”

“Just be sure to keep reading, to keep finding new sources of intellectual stimulation. Be sure to stay connected with one another, and with the other members of the twelve classes of STL alumni.” Prof. Lehman put forward ten expectations for the graduates of 2024, hoping that they will have a successful career, a wonderful life, and always be grateful.

Professor Cao Fei, faculty representative

“You’re special because you brought the word ‘diversity’ to life,” said faculty representative Professor Cao Fei. Professor Cao mentioned that in the past few years, despite the fact that students came from different majors and backgrounds, influential student groups showed surprisingly similar development trajectories. Other students might have been swept into this competitive wave.

“But with you, you began to seriously consider what constitutes a good life and what kind of life you would want. The world suddenly became broader,” said Prof. Cao. “You might be the most special graduates STL has seen in recent years.”

Always focusing on the heart in the face of change, remaining open and respectful in the face of complexity, and living a concrete life in the face of the virtual world, she said. “I now hand you over to the society to ‘self-answer’ and become complete individuals. May every future step be taken with conscience and confidence, and be followed by self-appreciation and contentment.”

Kong Jiaqi, a representatives of JD/JM graduates of the class of 2024

The exhilarating mock trials, the dedicated late nights, the chilly STL building, the crowded rooms for alumni lectures, and the joy of PILF auction night, as well as the badminton court at Mirror Lake and the dishes in the canteens of Tsinghua University and Harbin Institution of Technology, make up the memories of STL of one of the two representatives of JD/JM graduates of the class of 2024, Kong Jiaqi.

“These memories weave our STL story, testing us, teaching us, and bringing us together, forging a legacy we carry forward,”said Ms. Kong.

Li Yuning, also the 2024 JD/JM graduate representative, paid tribute to STL’s entrepreneurial journey in his speech.“STL represents a cautious but ambitious hope towards the legal profession, the legal system, and the transnational legal order.”

“The cautious but ambitious hope ignited by STL is that we realize that many sociolegal issues are not a binary right-or-wrong, us-or-them zero-sum game. Rather, we believe in proactive optimism rather than reactive cynicism; we habitually refrain from finger-pointing before issue-assessing; and we work hard to build bridges, not barriers,” he said.

The 2024 LLM graduate representative Edward Alexy talked about his experiences of studying and living in China. Like many international students, he was deeply impressed by China's long and vibrant history, as well as the rapid changes in the legal environment. Choosing to come to China and study at STL not only gave him a sense of the complexity of transnational law, but also provided him with a transformative learning experience. He is grateful for the wonderful time he spent in STL and cherishes the deep friendships he made with his classmates.

“Be champions of justice, advocates for change, bridges for co-operation, and beacons of hope in a world that often feels uncertain and divided.”

“It is an era of uncertainty, with economic downturns making our lives more challenging than decades ago. Yet, it is an era full of imagination, as artificial intelligence and other technological advancements reshape our life and industries at an unprecedented pace.”Dr. Xie Chenyang, VP/CLO of Foxconn Industrial Internet said in his keynote speech.

“2024 is a bad time and good time to live in. We face both challenges and opportunities,”said Dr. Xie. He viewed his setbacks as valuable learning experiences that profoundly shaped his personal and professional growth.

“So, graduates, don’t be afraid. Countless professional opportunities are waiting for you. From antitrust to litigation, from capital markets to corporate governance, frominsurance recovery to intellectual property, from labor and employment to M&A, from private equity to tax, and beyond. The world of law is vast and diverse, offering a collection of paths for you to explore,”he said.

“As you step into the real world, remember the values that Peking University has taught and guided you:integrity, a commitment to justice, and the unwavering voice of your conscience. Never compromise these principles, for they will be your compass in the complexities ahead,”said Dr. Xie.

Interim Dean of STL, Prof. Mark Feldman awarded degrees to the graduates, with the music played by the orchestra band.

The graduation ceremony ended with the chorus of "PKU Anthem".

Best wishes for a bright and successful future to the class of 2024!

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