Head of School Jody Soja presented a Mountain Card to Hansi Zhu on Friday, November 18, 2016. The Mountain Card is the school’s highest formal accolade and recognizes individuals who go above and beyond our expectations. Below are the words that Mrs. Soja read during a school assembly.

What’s in a name? So much can be conveyed in just two syllables. Hansi. Sounds and characters from across the world are combined, transforming the abstract idea of inclusivity into a single person. She is a believer in and practitioner of cosmopolitanism—the ideology that we all belong to a single world community. In Hansi we see cultures bridged and people effortlessly brought together. In Hansi, we see the power of welcoming.

Hansi welcomes all of the experiences she encounters. She greets new challenges with open arms, be they rap battles, Rubik’s cubes, or running races. She is an artist, a writer, an athlete, and a friend. She immerses herself in these endeavors and she manages them all with a grace and charm that is a brand of her own. Remarkably, the struggle, the very work itself, would be reward enough for Hansi, but she achieves far beyond simple (or not so simple) participation. The breadth of her activities and interests speaks to a diversity of talent that is truly rare, but her successes never come at the expense of humility.
Chief among these talents is Hansi’s ability to welcome others into conversation. For Hansi, the concept of inclusion is innate, and welcoming others is a practice that is at the core of her identity. She always takes the time to appreciate the perspectives of those around her. She has a prowess in the art of conversation the likes of which are rarely seen, and she truly does treat conversation as an art form—an aesthetic undertaking that brings her great joy.
So what is in a name? In this case, everything. Hansi brings us all together; she makes us all a part of the same community. She demonstrates the immense value of inclusion, but does so in a way that is just downright fun. We thank you, Hansi, and as a token of our thanks, we award you Indian Mountain School’s highest accolade: the Mountain Card.