2009 Commencement Ceremony of
Dharma Realm Buddhist University and
the Sangha/Laity Training Program
Dharma Realm Buddhist University, founded in 1976, and the Sangha/Laity Training Program, established in 1982, both serve as educational institutions created by Venerable Master Hsuan Hua before his Nirvana. These institutions were created with the aim to cultivate intellectuals who can propagate dharma and realize dharma in conduct and comprehension. So far, the graduates over the years consist of the four-fold assembly of left-home people and lay people who have become outstanding intellectuals, dedicating themselves to dharma propagation, sutra translation, education, and promotion of religious exchange.
The first commencement ceremony of Dharma Realm Buddhist University was held on May 1984. The Sangha/Laity Training Program held the first commencement ceremony in 1986, the same year as the tenth year anniversary celebration of the founding of the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. Later, in 1988 and 1996 (also the year of the twentieth anniversary of the founding CTTB), the second and the third commencement ceremonies were held, respectively.
This year, 2009, is the thirtieth anniversary of CTTB’s invocation and opening. Dharma Realm Buddhist University and the Sangha/Laity Training Program held the fourth commencement ceremony on May 23rd. The ceremony opened with a solo piano performance of the Dharma Realm Buddhist University school song, “Jin Xu Kong” (“Filling up Everywhere to the Ends of Empty Space”). Heartwarming addresses given by graduate representatives from all departments/programs followed. The addresses touched the audience.
Dharma Realm Buddhist University granted two special awards this year: One is the Faculty and Special Award given to honor DM. Heng Hsien, Ph.D. as Professor Emeritus. DM. Heng Hsien, Ph.D. has been teaching at the university since its inception for more than thirty years. Her broad and profound knowledge and experience has built the cornerstone for academic development at Dharma Realm Buddhist University. The second award, the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letter (Honoris Causa), was given to Helen C. M. Woo (aka: Woo Yu Kuo Hsiang), for her humanitarian contributions in the field of education.
Each graduate received his/her diploma from his/her professor/instructor, along with the switching of the tassel from one side to the other as a blessing. The ceremony completed with the song “Dedication of Merit” sung by the assembly. This recording is approximately 28 minutes in duration with highlights of the commencement ceremony on the graduation day. A detailed report will be included in the recent issue of Vajra Bodhi Sea.
For the introduction or detailed information on Dharma Realm Buddhist University and the Sangha/Laity Training Program, please browse the DRBA website at www.drba.org under the tab, “Education.”