Welcome, all of you.
As the summer passes, Chi Sun has completed our fifth birthday, confidently stepping into our sixth year. Let me take this opportunity to highlight some of our past and present achievements.
Chi Sun boasts a diverse and international student body. To date, we have become home to students of sixty nationalities, fostering a level of vibrancy and inter-cultural dialogue few university colleges can rival. It is particularly pleasing to see how students from different national, religious and ethnic backgrounds have joined hands to build a harmonious yet diverse environment, demonstrating maturity and mutual respect.
We look forward to a number of new, exciting activities at Chi Sun this year that reflect our desire for cultural, intellectual and personal enrichment. We have a Mongolian Cultural Song and Dance performance lined up, and have planned near-live relays of the New York Metropolitan Opera performances. A dance course in Cuban Salsa will be taught by one of Hong Kong’s finest dance instructors, and we are working with our residential fellows and award-winning moviemakers Mabel Cheung and Alex Law to organise a series of visits to film sets in Hong Kong.
The new knowledge exchange theme for this academic year is Global Popular Culture. For this we are launching a new speaker series called Academia Meets Pop, which explores global popular culture in interactive and unconventional lectures. In the film series Cinemas of the World, we go beyond the familiar faces and plots of Hollywood and explore the richness of global cinema from all corners of the world.
Global interconnectedness is also the theme of the Common Core Course Globalization: African Experiences, which will be taught next semester in the College by our Deputy Master Dr Kofi Yakpo. This is one of many ways in which we want to foster intercollege dialogue and encourage learning in truly innovative ways.
ChiSuners have benefitted immensely from our exchanges with the surrounding community. The Elder Academy, which offers our senior neighbours in Kennedy Town an opportunity to keep on learning through their golden years, reached 450 participants in the past two years. We are also reaching out to the young in our neighbourhood by organising one-day encounters and tours through Chi Sun and the main campus, and hopefully contribute to nurturing one or the other future leader.
The number of student-led initiatives has grown tremendously in recent years. I would like to encourage you to make use of the unique opportunities that the College offers for developing your own projects, groups and events. In other words, make the best of Chi Sun. Why not become one of two students to be awarded the Chi Sun College Award for academic excellence and meritorious service this year?
I think we can also say with some pride, that we now have one of the finest facilities amongst all of HKU’s halls and colleges, with the opening of the new Library on the third floor. This is another significant step in our quest to develop a fit-for-purpose built environment for intellectual, social and personal growth that we seek to nurture here at Chi Sun.
Finally, I would like to formally welcome many former residents for having joined the Chi Sun College Alumni Association, and encourage alumni-to-be to remain connected. The Alumni Association offers present ChiSuners the exceptional possibility of engaging with a global network of graduates around the world. Let’s make the ever-growing Chi Sun family a lifelong community.
I wish you an intellectually and personally rewarding academic year at Chi Sun.
All best wishes,
Professor Gabriel Leung
September 1, 2017