Author: Jean W. Hsu
Translated by Qingjun Wei
Edited by Natasha Palance
On April 27th, a graduation ceremony was held at the Student Memorial Center at Texas A & M University (TAMU) for 2019 graduates from both Tzu Chi Southern Region and College Station Tzu Ching — members of Tzu Chi Collegiate Youth Association TAMU chapter.
Hosts Allan Tian, Tzu Chi Collegiate Youth Association TAMU President, and Tzu Ching Angela Nguyen began the ceremony by reminiscing with attendees about all the events and accomplishments that they have had the pleasure of enjoying throughout the past year.
These young minds have grown immensely thanks to the prestige of Tzu Chi and Tzu Ching educational programs. Students have gained substantial wisdom and extensive skills throughout its multidisciplinary curriculums.
Ken Wang, Vice Executive Director of Tzu Chi USA Texas Branch, shared Master Cheng Yen’s wisdom with these future world changers during his keynote speech at the event: “Do a great job at Tzu Chi, cultivate your compassion, and get along with different people. In the classroom, what you learn is knowledge. In Tzu Chi, what you will learn is wisdom.”
Ken Wang honored each graduating Tzu Ching student with a white sash and a copy of Master Cheng’s bilingual book, “Mirror of the Heart: The Power of Mindfulness”, a collection of 80 short teachings of karma and the power of mindfulness. As inducted members of the Tzu Chi family, Tzu Ching graduates are encouraged to sustain connections with the organization by participating in Tzu Chi events post-graduation.
Experiencing Tzu Chi After the Sichuan Earthquake
Mozhu Yan, a Rice University graduate with a major in music, shares her story of being introduced to Tzu Chi after the Sichuan Earthquake struck her home country of China. While volunteering for a Tzu Chi aid mission with her friends at a school in her hometown of Chengdu, Mozhu Yan met earthquake survivors and heard their stories of strength in times of darkness. Tzu Chi volunteers supported one another throughout the emotional experience by exchanging stories of their encounters. Mozhu Yan can still recall the tune they sang one night, a very touching song that united all who were present with feelings of compassion and comradery.
Later Mozhu Yan came to study in the U.S. and become an official Tzu Ching student. When she wasn’t busy with school work, Mozhu Yan dedicated her free time to volunteering to play violin at a community retirement home. At the end of her performances, she would always play a Tzu Chi song in expression of her deep bond with Tzu Chi.
Sincerity Brings Support
In addition to event planning, President Tian often organized Tzu Ching members trips to assist at Tzu Chi medical outreach and other events in Houston, often driving two hours each way to participate in the events. As a result of Allan’s demonstrated dedication and sincerity, many new members joined Tzu Ching. In everyone’s sharing, you can hear many stories about Allan’s selfless work.
President Tian explained that he became a Tzu Chi volunteer team thanks to his friend Lilian Kao who had introduced him to the organization. After attending his first U.S. Youth Officer’s Training Camp, he learned about the missions of Tzu Chi and found that his values coincided with those of Tzu Chi.
Setting Sail for a Better World
President Tian is grateful that many graduated Tzu Ching brothers and sisters have supported, cared for and trusted him throughout their educational time at Tzu Chi this past year.
As the ceremony came to a close, Liju Su, mentor of Tzu Ching TAMU and Julienne Chi, Southern Region Tzu Ching mentor, ascended the stage to give congratulatory speeches respectively. They hoped that after leaving campus, graduate Tzu Ching will carry on Tzu Chi’s merits and continue their meaningful contribution to society. According to the two mentors, a heart full of tolerance, compassion and wisdom are what people need to set sail for a better world. Thanks to Tzu Chi, these young graduates are now ready to sail to new horizons.
Are you a college student hoping to improve your campus, yourself and the world in the process? Our Tzu Ching Collegiate Association chapters across the country join hands to spread Tzu Chi compassion throughout local communities. Take some time to improve yourself and give back to others by becoming a Tzu Ching Collegiate Youth!