Schwarzman Scholars Celebrates Inaugural Graduation Ceremony

July 1, 2017

Schwarzman Scholars Celebrates Inaugural Graduation Ceremony

Beijing, July 1, 2017 – Schwarzman Scholars today celebrated the commencement of the inaugural class of Schwarzman Scholars. Attending the ceremony were Tian Xuejun, Vice Minister of Education of China, Yao Ming, Chairman of the Chinese Basketball Association, Qiu Yong, President of Tsinghua University, and Stephen A. Schwarzman, Founding Trustee of the  Schwarzman Scholars Program and Chairman, CEO, and Co-Founder of Blackstone. Anchored in an 11-month professional Master’s Degree in Global Affairs at Beijing’s prestigious Tsinghua University, the Schwarzman Scholars experience encompasses unparalleled opportunities inside and outside the classroom, including extensive leadership training, a network of senior mentors, practical training and internships, and travel seminars around China.

Stephen A. Schwarzman, in addressing the inaugural class of Schwarzman Scholars at the commencement and reflecting on the first year of the program, said, “When we were designing the program, we set out to identify the ideal Schwarzman Scholar – members of your generation who would rise up into leadership roles. I think we have achieved that goal beyond anything that we had hoped. For students today, China isn’t an elective course. It’s core curriculum.”

Among the graduating class, scholars will be pursuing careers at financial and consulting firms such as McKinsey and JPMorgan, heading to technology firms such as Facebook and Microsoft working for think tanks, including the Wilson and Belfer Center in fellowship positions, entering public service, and continuing education at graduate programs at top global universities.

Through the course of the year, scholars participated in an interactive and cross-cultural learning experience exposing them to visits and lectures from world leaders including Former Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Tony Blair, General David Petraeus, and Former U.S. Secretaries of the Treasury Henry Paulson and Jack Lew.

The inaugural class was recently featured in a primetime documentary on CNBC entitled A Billionaires Bet: The Best and Brightest. After the announcement of the first cohort, CNBC was given access to follow the stories of the inaugural class from acceptance to arrival in Beijing and throughout their year as Scholars. They followed the first cohort on the ground at Schwarzman College.

About Schwarzman Scholars: Schwarzman Scholars was inspired by the Rhodes Scholarship, which was founded in 1902 to promote international understanding and peace, and is designed to meet the challenges of the 21st century and beyond. Blackstone Co-Founder Stephen A. Schwarzman personally contributed over $100 million to the program and is leading a fundraising campaign to raise an additional $450 million from private sources to endow the program in perpetuity. The $550 million endowment will support up to 200 Scholars annually from the U.S., China and around the world for a one-year Master’s Degree program at Tsinghua University in Beijing, one of China’s most prestigious universities and an indispensable base for the country’s scientific and technological research. Scholars chosen for this highly selective program will live in Beijing for a year of study and cultural immersion, attending lectures, traveling, and developing a better understanding of China. Admissions opened in the fall of 2015, with the first class of students taking up residence in 2016. Learn more at, like us on Facebook at, and follow us on Twitter at @SchwarzmanOrg.