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Student dressed in cartoon costume attends graduation ceremony | Updated: 2024-06-17 16:41
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Recently, a PhD graduate went viral online, as he dressed up as the cartoon character "Patrick Star" to attend his graduation ceremony.

This graduate is Pan Ronghao, a PhD student majoring in geology at China University of Geosciences (Beijing). Talking about the reason for wearing the "Patrick Star" costume, Pan said that it was a gift for his best friend Xia Qing.

Pan began his studies at the School of Geological Sciences and Resources at China University of Geosciences (Beijing) in 2012. Initially feeling somewhat isolated upon his arrival in Beijing as a student from Zibo city in Shandong province, Pan found solace when he encountered Xia Qing, who happened to be his roommate and also from Shandong.

The two quickly formed a close bond, and both were enrolled in the school's innovation class. Pan credited Xia with significantly influencing his decision to pursue a doctorate and expressed gratitude for their friendship, saying, "They say we choose our friends as our extended family, and I am grateful for Xia Qing's companionship, which has enriched my scientific journey immeasurably."

In 2022, when Xia completed his studies at China University of Geosciences and continued on to postdoctoral research work at the Exploration and Development Research Institute of Shengli Oilfield, Pan was on an exchange program at Hanover University in Germany. His absence from witnessing his best friend's graduation ceremony was a regret for him.

So Pan decided to surprise Xia Qing, who is a big fan of SpongeBob, by cosplaying as Patrick Star, SpongeBob's best friend from the animated TV show.

"I am taller than him. So I should be Patrick Star and China University of Geosciences is the 'Bikini Bottom' that nurtured our growth." Pan said.

Despite his unique dress, Pan said that the degree ceremony is a serious and solemn occasion and he hopes that everyone will commemorate this sacred moment more appropriately.

During his college life, Pan persevered in scientific research. In 2022, he published an academic paper as the first author in the world's top Journal of Petrology. In addition to his scientific pursuits, Pan also has a passion for photography, painting, music and sports.

He has a particular fondness for landscape photography and often captures images of the mountains and rivers he has traveled through. He has also started his own WeChat public account to share his drawings and essays. Furthermore, he is skilled at playing the flute and enjoys Celtic music. Additionally, he was once a senior goalkeeper for his school's soccer team and won the silver medal in the Northeast Division of China University Football Association (CUFA) with his teammates.

After graduation, Pan will continue his postdoctoral research at the China Polar Research Center of the Ministry of Natural Resources.

"Life always holds infinite possibilities. If one can make some contributions to the country and its people in their own career, this is the greatest value," Pan said.

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