HUSTers Talk

Lecture by alumnus Zhenyu Luo: Be the Friend of Time

Dec 7, 2020

On the afternoon of December 6th, alumnus Zhenyu Luo, famous entrepreneur and founder of Dedao app, was invited to HUST to give a lecture titled ‘Be the Friend of Time’. Following the lecture, Xinyu Shao, Secretary of the Party Committee of the University, and Vice President Xiaodong Xu took Luo to visit the university’s landmarks to see HUST’s development in recent years.


"The memory bestowed to you by the place you stayed when you were 18, stays with you throughout your life”, said Luo, who was admitted to the School of Journalism and Information Communication at HUST in 1990 at the age of 18. 30 years later, he has returned to his alma mater to deliver his speech at the Mingde Lecture Hall of the Wutongyu Academic Exchange Center.

After entertaining the audience with some lead-in stories, Luo presented his first point that “our fellow students are the biggest gift from our university”. Citing several interesting anecdotes about Allen Zhang, the founder of Wechat, also a HUST alumnus, he said that the “imagined recognition” between alumni would one day let the value brought by their own growth shine on each other.


As for the title of his speech ‘Be the Friend of Time’, Luo expounded his philosophy as follows: “It is the willingness to join a community that consists of people constantly progressing forward. And one day, when you benefit from your friend in that community, even though his course of struggle appears to have nothing to do with you but he is willing to help you since you were once in the same community, the help you acquire is from a ‘friend of time’.


“The biggest boon I received during my four years at HUST was to have done extensive reading, which is also key to my competitiveness in the past 30 years.” Luo devoted a large amount of his university life to reading, which, recalling now, he felt extremely grateful for, as that abundance of time and pure and devoted state of mind could only be found at university. Luo said that the advantage he built at university through reading proved enough to battle any uncertainties in his field of knowledge in the future. “I want to pay utmost tribute to the days that I studied at this campus 30 years ago”, he said.

He also recalled once attending a lecture given by professor Zaiying Zheng of the School of Humanities. The professor was late. After entering the classroom, he said that he was reading The Songs of Chu at home. Professor Zheng was brimming with enthusiasm, saying in a dialect: "The Songs of Chu is divine! It is beautiful! It needs not only to be read, but also to be recited” before citing a few scintillating lines. Luo remembered that he rushed back to the dormitory that very same night to read the Songs of Chu, which had not been touched by his bedside for a long time.

“Such opportunities are too rare in our life.” Luo told the junior students present that after graduation, this kind of opportunity will rarely be available as people are exposed to all kinds of mind-distracting anxiety. In our bustling life, one finds it difficult to squeeze in time to systematically read such profound and multiple-volumed books as the History of Chinese Philosophy, the History of Western Philosophy, the History of Literature, the History of Literary Criticism, and the General History of China in a consistent and pure frame of mind.

At the lecture, an 8-year-old girl asked Zhenyu Luo, “how many books do you read a day?” Luo replied that as you get older, your reading style changes. He went on to share details about his own reading method, which was that he reads with questions and introspection as many books as possible within a certain classification concerning a specific issue.


In an exclusive interview, Luo said that the requirements for entrepreneurs in this era have decreased. Addressing potential and would-be entrepreneurs, he stated that the advantage brought by social development is that you only need to make best use of your own advantage. All your entrepreneurial partners, your colleagues, and the social basic support system will go from strength to strength. Therefore, you only need to do your part well and audaciously outsource other things to the whole society. Encouraging students to pursue their dream, he said that “if you want a rule of thumb, be brave to start a business when you have the idea”.

Written by: Yutao Cao

Edited by: Andrew, Yumeng Peng

Source: Public Relations Office

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