A Graduation Ceremony was held at the final High Table where we congratulated and bid farewell to the Class of 2015 residents. 60 of them were presented individually on stage with a pen as memento.
We also saw our first batch of founding residents graduate this year. The Ceremony will continue as our tradition to honour our graduating residents.
The Valediction was delivered by Arpit Brij Gupta, a final year Computer Science from India.
“Dr Fan, Master Leung, Deputy Master Ko, Ladies & Gentlemen,
It is an incredible honour to be speaking on behalf of all who are graduating this year. I hope I can do justice to the collective experiences of all those graduating.
I am standing here to reflect upon this moment of our graduation from Chi Sun College. I have been a resident here for 3 years now, from 16th September 2012, and my friends, you need to know that the short time of this speech is insufficient to even hint about the plethora of enriching experiences I have had here. I do not wish to speak in clichés and rhetoric and bore you after a good meal so I am just going to go ahead and share a very specific memory of Chi Sun.
While applying to HKU, I was suggested by my student buddy here to apply to the three halls nearest to campus, like most international freshmen would. And, like most freshmen, I got rejected. Instead I was assigned to Block B of the Residential Colleges – as we were known then – to stay in my first year. I checked out the websites of the other halls and I saw all those happy pictures of students engaging in all kinds of activities, big smiles on their faces – man I was so jealous! In contrast, all that the Residential Colleges could muster on their website were computer-generated images of the yet–to-be-completed buildings. There was no mention of an elaborate mission, no decades of history to showcase. Not even a proper name for this block that I’m going to live in. I started feeling deprived of proper university experience.
Now, you see, this was the first time I’ve left India, so obviously, I was also a bit nervous. Upon arrival on 6th September, the first thing I knew I was sent to a hotel, as the College wasn’t ready yet. I was told there was formaldehyde in the air and fire alarms sounded twice a day. I thought, what a perfect start to college life abroad.
Fast forward 3 years, this is my last high table here. My final year, final semester, final month. Looking back now, I realize how mistaken was I about this place.This College boasts of over 30 nationalities represented in our student body. Think about the diversity in experiences from around the world and the exposure it brings with it. Some of us made good use of this environment and made friends from across the oceans. The interactions I have had with people here are priceless. It changed a lot of perceptions I had about a global community. I met fellow students who were entrepreneurs, journalists, aspiring writers and interacting with them motivated me to explore my passions as well.
The social freedom offered by the College motivated us to establish the College Committee – our own student body where we created a platform for our residents to create activities and organizations of their own. I saw the College stand true to its words about social inclusion and we had great many opportunities to interact and serve the local community. We were able to understand what it meant to live in Hong Kong and how this society functions. The various workshops conducted by distinguished speakers exposed us to some outstanding and exciting life and career stories that inspired us all.
These freedoms are difficult to come by for any student, let alone an international. I got it all here at Chi Sun, and these experiences are what we take as we graduate.
To summarize, I would say that I received knowledge at HKU, but at Chi Sun College, I received education and that’s what stays with us in testing moments.
Ladies and gentlemen, it has been a pleasure living amongst you all. I hope to stay connected with this great family as I begin my career in Hong Kong, and I hope you would, too. I wish us all the best of luck for the upcoming finals and best wishes to Chi Sun College for the long future ahead.
Thank you all!”
Photos of the Ceremony have been posted on our Facebook page.