At HKUST, the Long Service Award is only given to employees who have served 20 years. For a university that is just past its 20th anniversary, this means it is recognizing a select group of pioneers who have practically been with this institution from the start.
This year marks only third time that this award is handed out to staff members who have made the cut, chronologically speaking. This time we have 237 reasons to celebrate, because 237 loyal employees are being honored.
The university may have achieved its record of success as a collective entity, but it is made up of many individual tales of sacrifice and sweat. Business Dean Prof Leonard Cheng, for example, one of this year’s recipients, despite his senior academic position is typical of the spirit of dedication of many of our long-serving colleagues. Like many of them in those trail-blazing days, he often worked on campus until the wee hours of the morning, a sacrifice made by the pioneering staff member. Thus the university’s success often came at a high price to our stoic and devoted individual employees.
As the president said in his opening speech, this moment truly belongs to them. So much was unwritten in the simple certificate and the silver medal they each receive. It was truly “all for one and one for all.