June 23, 2020

Lening Li ’21 is the president of Graduate Student Government at WPI. A native of China, he is a robotics engineering PhD student who has devoted his time and energy to serving as a graduate student leader. In this Q&A, he expresses admiration for his classmates, recalls their many fun-filled outings, and wishes them well in their future endeavors.

Watch Lening Li talk about the WPI Graduate class.

Q: The coronavirus pandemic has created challenging times for all students. How has the WPI Graduate Class managed during this difficult time?

A: During this pandemic, this graduate class has shifted from an in-class learning experience to an online learning experience, learned to practice social distancing from their friends, and saw the cancellation of Commencement in May and other activities. These adversities did not discourage our graduate class; they have overcome these unprecedented challenges and have successfully graduated.

Q: What memorable times come to mind when you think of WPI’s Class of 2020 Graduate Class?

A: Many of WPI’s graduate students come from places far and wide to gather here. Their enthusiasm, open-mindedness, and smiles are engraved in my mind. I will never forget the times we all spent together bowling, whale watching, professional networking, and so much more. I hope they also will carry these amazing moments with them for the rest of their lives.

Q: What words of advice do you have for the Class of 2020 as they embark on their new life journeys?

A: I would tell them, “You have earned your passport to your future at WPI. Use it well. Keep in touch with classmates, professors, and friends you’ve made here. Master your fear, be humble, aim higher, live your dreams, and remember not solely where you are going, but particularly where you came from.” 

Q: Finish this sentence: The Class of 2020 …

A: … should be extremely proud of their accomplishments because they succeeded, and it’s only up from here.

-Andy Baron