My Very Dear Fellow Convocation Members,
It is almost a week since we had our landmark EGM which became the talk of the town for one day. After the polling results were announced, some TV channels had it as the top news item which was re-run every half hour. The result was that I received phone calls, emails and messages from friends including close and long lost friends, relatives and associates, including a message from my son who works in New York City, asking what trouble I had landed myself in.
Such is the nature of modern life that the media will set the agenda and pace of life for you if you allow them. I became an overnight celebrity, but luckily, the fame lasted for only one night and no more. There were much more interesting news the next day.
Cable news made a special info-news item on the Convocation, covering the Standing Committee, its powers and duties, which definitely had catapulted our modest institution into fame overnight and created awareness of its existence amongst the community. Let’s hope such awareness would sustain longer and that the average members of the public had got the idea that we had tried to do a good job.
As Chairman, I am proud that the Convocation has been asked to provide a platform whereby members could discuss a subject very dear to their hearts. Nearly 60 members had spoken; and successive speakers spoke of their concerns on the future of their alma mater and of their determination to support, uphold and maintain HKU’s core values. They had articulated their views spontaneously, unrehearsed, with passion and compassion, and even with a bit of wisdom. The Meeting proceeded peacefully and in perfect order. The Meeting counted the total admission number at 3402, meaning that there would be well over 3,000 people at the height of the Meeting, and possibly more counting staff and security personnel of HKCEC. Considering that the decision to move the venue to HKCEC was made only a week before the Meeting, I think we have done rather well, thanks to the staunch support of the University and the experience, dedication, tenacity, assiduity and perseverance of all the staff involved, in particular the leadership at the Development and Alumni Affairs Office.
So, together we created history; but let us take it from there, take stock, take note of what is expected of the Convocation and work together to bring the University and the community of Hong Kong closer together. We expect more work ahead and we would be soliciting help from the pool of talents amongst Convocation Members. Already, some members have said that we need to look at the governance of top world universities and how their management relate to their graduates and alumni, amongst other issues.
I hope to talk to you again soon.