On December 7, a ceremony to commemorate the 100th anniversary of YK Pao's birth was held in the Pao Siu-Loong Library on the Xuhui Campus of Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Entitled "YK Pao, Global Vision, Chinese Soul," the event was hosted by the YK Pao Foundation, and jointly organised by Shanghai Jiao Tong University and YK Pao School. The following distinguished guests attended the event: Yan Junqi, Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the 12th National People's Congress; Wu Qidi, former Vice Minister of Education; Xue Chao, former Vice Director of the Standing Committee of the Shanghai Municipal People's Congress; Xie Lijuan, former Vice Mayor, as well as representatives of the Shanghai Municipal Committee, the Municipal People's Congress, the Municipal Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, and the Municipal United Front Work Department, Municipal Education Commission, and leaders from Changning and Songjiang District. Other distinguished guests from Jiao Tong University included Jiang Sixian, Party Secretary, Lin Zhongqin, President and Vice Party Secretary, and former Party Secretaries and Presidents. Also in attendance at the event were the founders, Board of Governors, mentors, school leadership team, representatives of teachers, students and parents from Pao School.
This commemorative event was held at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, which received a major donation from YK Pao in the 1980s that made possible the construction of two new libraries. Since then the Pao family and YK Pao Foundation have developed a close friendship with Shanghai Jiao Tong University. In 2016, the Pao family established the YK Pao Running Trail on the Minhang Campus of Jiao Tong University.
Yan Junqi, Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the 12th National People's Congress and an alumna of Jiao Tong University, told the audience:
Since the completion of the Pao Sui-Loong Library, countless teachers and students of Jiao Tong Universityhave worked and studied here, immersing themselves in a sea of knowledge, and journeying onwards to great success. YK Pao's vision and great generosity have had a profound influence on our students over the years. He made important contributions to China's development.
Jiang Sixian, Party Secretary of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, said in his speech that YK Pao's contributions were inspired by his patriotism and his faith in the quality of education at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, which is upheld by the spirit of "Dare to be the best in the world."
In her speech, Pao School founder, Anna Pao Sohmen shared an affectionate account of YK Pao. Throughout his life, YK Pao upheld his motto "Exercise ersistently, use sparingly, work diligently." He maintained rigorous self-discipline and believed strongly in the cultivation of young talents. In particular, he placed an emphasis on the comprehensive development of students' morals and intellect.
We gather here today both to remember YK Pao and carry forth his spirit. I hope that our children, no matter where they go in the future, will take pride in their Chinese heritage like YK Pao did: He was a global citizen with a Chinese soul.
At the ceremony on the same day, Mrs. Sohmen and Philip Sohmen donated the YK Pao Student Community Service Fund to Shanghai Jiao Tong University to support students' practical application of what they learn in school in wider society.
Lin Zhongqin, President of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, said that summer community service program is an essential part of educating students at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Every year, the school sets up about 800 summer community service teams that are joined by over 9,000 students and 500 teachers. With the support of the fund, students are able to participate in a variety of different community service activities beneficial for the society.
The event also prominently featured the talents of Pao students. Their story telling, poetry readings, calligraphy writing and rope skipping performances earned thunderous applause from the audience.
Finally, Philip Sohmen thanked Shanghai Jiao Tong University for hosting the event. He fondly recalled the grand opening of the YK Pao Library on Minhang Campus when he was a boy. He also shared the memory of YK Pao School's first ever recruiting event in the Pao Siu-Loong Library. He has always been guided by the spirit of his grandfather, and follows YK Pao’s teachings of being kind, honest, and respectful. Philip Sohmen sincerely hopes that YK Pao School and Shanghai Jiao Tong University continue to cooperate in the future.