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Remarks from Founding Dean Jeffrey Lehman at the 2021 Commencement Ceremony

Jeffrey Lehman
Founding Dean, STL
Vice Chancellor, NYU Shanghai

Members of the Peking University School of Transnational Law, Class of 2021.

北京大学国际法学院的同事朋友们,2021届毕业生们。 

Your 4 years at STL have in some ways been just what you expected when you began back in 2017. But in other ways, they’ve been very different.

在某些方面,你们以2017年入学时期待的方式度过了在国际法学院的四年时光;但是在另外一些方面,这四年又与你们当时的期待不尽相同。

When you arrived on campus you are already smart, talented highly accomplished and motivated young adults. You expected that a 4-year long STL education would give you the opportunity to develop a deeper, more sophisticated understanding of the law. And in truth, that expectation has been fully satisfied. Your understanding of the law today is entirely different now from what it was 4 years ago.

初入校园之时,你们已经是一群聪明、有天赋、才华横溢且锐意进取的年轻人,期待通过在国际法学院四年的学习获得对法律更加深刻成熟的见解。毋庸置疑,现在,这一目标已经圆满实现。你们今天对法律的理解已经与四年前完全不同。

You now understand how legal rules use imperfect ambiguous words to promote larger social goals. You understand how good and reasonable well meaning people can disagree about the best way to interpret those ambiguous rules. You understand how the rule of law enables people to resolve their disagreements fairly in ways that promote important values like equity, equality and efficiency. That is what you expected you would accomplish as STL students. And through your dedicated efforts, you did it.

你们明白了法律规则是如何用不完美的、模棱两可的词语来实现更为宏大的社会目的;你们明白了对于理解这些规则的最佳方式,善良理智的人们抱着怎样的不同观点;你们也懂得了只有“依法治国“才能保证公平地解决纠纷,并传递公平、平等、高效的价值观。这是你们当时的所愿,也是你们如今的所得。 

On the other hand, today’s world is in so many ways not at all what we expected it would be when you start it out back in 2017. Back then we all thought that globalization was a progressive force that would continue to move forward promoting economic prosperity and cross cultural integration. We thought the arc of history was bending towards an ever stronger rule of law under which no amount of wealth or political power could enable a person to escape accountability to universal norms of behavior. We thought that the nations of the world were joining forces to confront common threats to human well being like climate change.

然而,当今世界和你们在2017年预想的迥然不同。那时,我们都以为全球化是一股势不可挡的浪潮,会继续向前推进,促进经济发展以及文化之间的融合;我们都以为法治会愈加凸显,人们不会因为受到财富或权力的蛊惑就违背普世行为准则;我们也都以为世界各国会齐心协力,一同应对气候变化等人类共同面对的挑战。 

That is not exactly what our world looks like in 2021.But we should not be discouraged. If anything, STL graduates, we should appreciate even more the special qualities that you developed during the past 4 years and the difference that those qualities can make in the years ahead.

但2021年的世界并没有发生我们预想中的变化。尽管如此,我们也不应气馁。STL的毕业生们,我们应该更加珍视你们在过去四年中磨炼出的独特的品格,以及这些品格将会在未来产生的影响。 

Each of you is now embarking on a very personal quest to craft a life of worth and purpose. For some people such a life mostly involves helping one or more other people, or one or more other living beings. For others, it involves serving an important cause. For others, it involves exploring and understanding the complex, beautiful, surprising, and frustrating world that we share.

你们每个人都将开启各自的新征程,追求有价值有意义的生活。对于一些人而言,这样的生活主要是为其他人或其他生命体提供帮助。对另外一些人来说,则是投身意义重大的事业,或是探索并理解我们共享的这个复杂而美丽,时而令人惊喜,时而令人沮丧的世界。 

Whatever kind of life you might wish to craft, you could follow either of two different strategic paths. One path relies on work that pays you to provide service to others. You could do that by being an employee in the public sector, the private sector, academia, civil society, or an international organization. Or you could be an entrepreneur, someone who creates a new organization that produces a genuinely useful goods or service; or you could be a creative artist producing work that enhances the lives of those who experience it.

无论你的希冀为何,都可以从以下两条道路中来实现理想的生活。一条人生之路是在公共部门、私营行业、学术界、民间团体或者国际组织中有偿为他人服务;也可以做一个企业家,开设新公司,为社会提供真正有用的产品或服务;还可以做一个富有创意的艺术家,创造出能丰富他人生活的作品。

A different path uses paid work to acquire the resources that you need to live comfortably but manages that work so that you have time and energy for more important activities relating to friendship, family, charity, creativity, intellectual exploration or community service. Most people probably combine the two paths. They pursue one strategy for a few years, then switch to the other. And then maybe they invent a third strategy that somehow blends the two together.

另一条人生之路通过有偿工作获取能够让自己舒适生活的资源,同时留出精力给更重要的事,比如陪伴家人、朋友,参加慈善活动,参与创造性、智识性挑战,以及投身于社区服务。很多人,又或是大多数人最终都会把这两条路结合起来。他们沿着一条路走几年,然后又换到另一条路,最终在二者中找到平衡。 

But no matter what path you may end up pursuing, the qualities that you developed during your time at STL will serve you well. 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 ten classes of STL alumni and be sure you stay alert to new possibilities that will present themselves to you from time to often when you least expect them.

不管最终选择了哪条路,你们在STL养成的品质都将使你们大受裨益。希望你们坚持阅读,保持自我驱动的学习和再学习的激情。你们一定要和同学们、与国际法学院十届校友们保持联系。此外,你们也要保持开放的心态,去迎接意想不到的机会。 

Members of the class of 2021,

2021届毕业生们,

You are about to embark on lives, in which you will provide invaluable service to a society that desperately needs you. As you go, let me conclude by stating a few hopes that all of your STL teachers hold for you.

你们即将迈入社会,社会也一直在翘首等待,等待你们贡献宝贵的才智。在你们毕业之际,让我再代表国际法学院的全体老师说一些对你们的希冀: 

May you enjoy the special pleasures of craft the private satisfaction of doing a task as well as it can be done.愿你们享受专业技能带来的特殊乐趣——一种既能参与,又能让事情办成的自我的满足感。

May you enjoy the special pleasures of profession the added satisfaction of knowing that your efforts promote a larger public good.愿你们享受法律专业带来的特殊乐趣——一种知道自己的努力能够让社会受益的强烈满足感。

May you be blessed with good luck and also with the wisdom to appreciate when you’ve been lucky rather than skillful.

愿你们好运相伴,同时在幸运时也能心怀感激。

May you find ways to help others under circumstances where they cannot possibly know that you’ve done.

愿你们能找到润物细无声的助人之道。

May you be patient, gentle, tolerant without becoming smug, self-satisfied or arrogant.愿你们戒骄戒躁,耐心、有涵养、心胸宽广。

May you know enough bad weather that you never take the sunshine of Shenzhen for granted, and enough good weather that your faith in the coming of spring is never shaken.愿你们所经历过的坏天气足以让你们学会珍惜深圳明媚的阳光;也经历过足够多的好天气,使你们对春天来临的坚信不移。

May you always be able to admit ignorance, vulnerability, and uncertainty.

愿你们总能看到自己的无知、怀疑、脆弱以及彷徨。

May you always have listeners who find your words persuasive.

愿你们总有真诚的听众。

May you frequently travel beyond the places that are comfortable and familiar the better to appreciate the miraculous diversity of life.

愿你们时常走出自己的舒适圈,更好地领会到生活的丰富多彩。

And may your steps lead you often back to Shenzhen, back to the Peking University School of Transnational law.

最后,愿你们常回深圳、常回国际法学院看看。 

Class of 2021,

2021届的同学们 ,

The STL story is very much your story. And STL will always be happy to welcome you home. 

国际法学院的故事就是你们的故事。学院永远欢迎你们回家。

Congratulations!

祝贺大家毕业!