It might be easier to take care of our own children, but loving others’ children is not so easy. The dads and moms of the University’s Tzu-Cheng and Yi-Te Association have been coming to Hualien once each month, to meet with the University’s students since 1994. On this day, the University held a gratitude ceremony and awarded 77 dads and moms who joined the association over ten years ago. This year, the association has a total of 826 members, and nearly fifty of them have served for more than twenty years. To express our appreciation, faculty members and students presented three songs entitled “Dedication,” “We Are the World” and “Dream Again” to the Tzu-Cheng dads & Yi-Te moms.
The gratitude ceremony began with Director Yi-Zhong Liu of the Office of Humanistic Culture playing piano, Li-Ming Huang playing guitar, and Chief Secretary Kun-Yi Ho, Consultant Chia-Shu Chang, Dean of Student Affairs Kun-Ruey Shieh, and Director of the Personnel Office Wei-Jen Lai singing “Dedication.” While they were singing, several senior association members were on the stage and stood beside them. At the middle of their performance, University president Ingrid Liu came out from backstage and sang with the others. “Rains dedicate themselves to earth and we contribute our time to others” were parts of the lyrics, which reflected the altruism of these dads and moms. The University’s faculty members and staff sang on the stage and dads and mons sitting on their seats sang along.
President Liu pointed out that Tzu-Cheng and Yi-Te Association is a very special group for Tzu Chi University. Many University students may not feel comfortable discussing something with their academic advisors, but they feel at ease talking to their Tzu-Cheng dads and Yi-Te moms. The University cherishes this company, which has assisted us to help students from various aspects.
Tzu-Cheng and Yi-Te Association has been well-liked by the students, so they expressed their gratitude in articles and with drawings. Communication Studies’ freshman Yu-Xin Xiao really missed her family. Fortunately, Tzu-Cheng dads and Yi-Te moms came to Hualien regularly, gave her warmth, and helped her to settle down in Hualien, so she used a charcoal drawing to depict the love she has received from dads and moms. Many faculty members and alumni also expressed their appreciation and Zhi-Hao Xi, a nursing alumnus, was one of them. He wrote: “I love you so much and I wish all of you the best.”
President Liu presented gratitude plaques to 77 dads and moms who have served faculty members and students for ten years. Yi-Te Mom Yin Huang currently accompanies students of the Bachelor Program in International Service Industry Management. She joined the association in 2008 and has accompanied students majoring in Communication Studies, Life Sciences, and Oriental Languages and Literature. She mentioned that ten years have passed, without her realizing it. Through visits to students’ families and chats with students, she realized the great potential of each student. In her mind, as long as dads and moms are able to see each student’s potential, they will surely inspire each of them. Company is the best gift that dads and moms can give. Members of the association are like a group of wild geese flying together, with each one inspiring and complementing the others.
As for international students who live far away from their homes overseas, for many of them, it is nice to have Tzu-Cheng dads and Yi-Te moms to be with them. One Ph.D. student is from Nigeria, and he studies at the Institute of Medical Sciences. He presented “Dream Again,” which was composed by himself. “The sun will rise again, and its brilliance will illuminate the world” implies these dads and moms will help our students light up the roads ahead of them.
Five international students from Nigeria, Indonesia, and Malaysia, respectively, sang “We Are the World” together. One student said that domestic students could go home once every few weeks, but international students were unable to do so, due to the pandemic situation, and he has not been home for quite a while. He felt grateful that Tzu-Cheng dads and Yi-Te moms come to Hualien every month, and they, as well as his classmates, are like his family members, which makes him feel very warm.
Senior association leaders have gradually passed on their duties to younger ones. Yi-Te Mom Sheng-Sheng Lin was the association’s first president, and she was grateful to all members who have stood silently and given firm support. She believes in the flying geese concept, which has been practiced by members for many years, and the association has been operating effectively. She has devoted herself to Tzu Chi’s education mission for more than 30 years and made a firm commitment that she will never be absent.
But aging is a natural law, and on this day, due to her physical condition, she needed crutches, but in consideration for others, she decided not to bring them. She felt grateful for the loving care personally provided to her by association members. She wishes the association’s members will keep following Tzu Chi’s education mission, set up by Master Cheng Yen, and its educational goals, continuing to fly together, like a group of geese, and devoting themselves to education.