The historical moment has arrived – this September we welcomed the double cohort of students to HKUST. This marks the start of a new era for us, with the launch of the new curriculum and the opening of various new facilities and soon-to-be completed buildings on campus to cater for the increased intake. Please do turn to Insight of this Alumni News to find out more about our expanded campus. But I would also like to extend an invitation to you to visit the campus in the coming months. Then you can see for yourselves the wonderful new facilities and perhaps even chat to current students about their lives on campus today!
In order that we continue to achieve new heights, we need the support of you, our alumni. It is very inspiring for everyone at HKUST – students, faculty and staff – that our Alumni Endowment Fund (AEF) initiative has received tremendous support since its launch in March this year. We have hit a record high in terms of donation amount and participation rate. More than HK$6.2 million has been raised by alumni. Taking into account the 2:1 matching successfully secured via the government matching grant, the fund has now reached HK$9.3 million! In other words, the interest income available for students in 2012-13 has reached HK$300,000. This sum is earmarked to cover sponsorships for student academic programs, reach-out activities, awards for sporting achievements and other activities. These will help make a big difference to the lives of many students. Special thanks go to the pioneer donors, whom I am sure will be proud to see their investment paying dividends in perpetuity.
I was fortunate to meet many graduates, exchange-out students and once exchange-in students on a visit to Europe earlier in October. My trip took in a number of educational institutions in the cities of Copenhagen, Stockholm, Berlin, Munich and Heidelberg. It was good to be able to catch up with everyone and hear their news, as well as updating them on HKUST’s latest happenings. I am especially impressed by the enduring bonds and countless ties that link them after graduation. It is always heart-warming to hear of gatherings of alumni and students – and one group was lucky enough to enjoy a cozy gathering at Vice-President Dr Eden Woon’s house in Shanghai in November.
Our cover feature of this issue looks at some alumni who have taken more unusual paths in life. The thread drawing them together is that they are all passionate about something in their lives and have followed their dreams. It seems an appropriate subject as the old year draws to a close and we prepare for a new start in 2013 and the Year of the Snake. Make the coming year the one you decide to follow your dreams, too!
We can look back on a momentous year at HKUST, when we achieved several milestones. We are now in our third decade, and with each passing year we get stronger and stronger. We are building a strong heritage – and you, as alumni, play an important role in the culture and mission of HKUST.
I wish every one of you all the very best for the festive season. May your careers and your personal lives flourish in the New Year!
Professor Tony F Chan