The year of 2011 marks the 100th anniversary of the University of Hong Kong. To share the pride and achievements with the community, a series of exciting celebration activities, covering three areas of Knowledge, Heritage and Service, have been planned for the University Family and the members of the public.
The Centenary Celebrations will be officially launched in January 2011 and will continue for two years, ending in late 2012. The many planned activities will include distinguished lectures, international conferences, publications of the University's history and community services.
HKU Vice-Chancellor Professor Lap-Chee Tsui said the timing of the celebratory events - to begin in January 2011 and conclude with the introduction of the new four-year curriculum and the opening of the Centennial Campus in the autumn of 2012 - falls exactly one hundred years from the time when the University admitted its first cohort of students.
"In 1911, The University of Hong Kong was incorporated by Ordinance. A group of visionaries founded the first university in Hong Kong from which generations of leaders across the region could come forth. For the past century, the University has lived up to its promise, growing with Hong Kong and intertwined with its destiny as it re-defines its position on the global landscape of education," said Professor Tsui.
He reminded members of the HKU community of the University's mission "to be for China and the World".
"With the community at large we humbly share our achievements. Taking stock of our rich heritage, now is the time to reflect and articulate boldly the values we so cherish.
"With excellence, we serve. We are determined to build a better world of compassion, justice and dignity," he remarked.
Professor Tsui said the next hundred years for the University is a journey not to be missed："History is made by people. As we celebrate our past, we shall join hands to transform the future. The myriad of Celebration activities in the ensuing two years will present great opportunities to share our mission with the community worldwide.
"We are one hundred years young and the torch of excellence, which lights our journey, burns brighter and stronger today than it has ever before."
HKU Pro-Vice-Chancellor (University Relations) Professor Chow Shew-ping outlined the Centenary Celebration activities. He described the celebration as "a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" with three goals to achieve: to engage and energize the whole university family; to reach out and embrace Hong Kong, China and the world; and to facilitate HKU's entrance into a new century.
The major events of the Centenary Celebrations are as follows:
Knowledge - Distinguished Scholars in HKU
Promoting Knowledge Exchange is one of the key elements of the University's Strategic Development. A series of Centenary Distinguished Lectures delivered by Nobel laureates and distinguished scholars from different disciplines will be held. The laureates will share their world-class scholarship, expertise and key to success with local secondary school students and HKU undergraduates. Laureates who will visit HKU in 2011 include Professor Sir Andrew Motion, Poet Laureate; Professor Kurt Wüthrich, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry; Professor Wu Jinglian, renowned economist in China and Professor Elinor Ostrom, Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences.
The University always remembers its role as the intellectual hub for the region and the world. During its Centenary Celebrations, a number of international conferences, including the Association of Commonwealth Universities Annual Conference of Executive Heads, President Summit and Student Summit, will be held. The conferences and summits will draw over a hundred presidents, senior management and student representatives from some of the top universities worldwide to HKU, to discuss and exchange views on the development of higher education and the challenges ahead.
Heritage - HKU's Past and its Future
Taking stock of its rich heritage, the University also wishes to share its vision for the second century. Members of the public can learn about the University's past and what the future heralds through seven planned historical publications. These publications include an anthology by former Vice-Chancellor Professor Wang Gungwu and Professor Ying Chan, Director of HKU Journalism and Media Studies Centre; a project of stories on HKU and its people by Professor Lung Yingtai, HKU Hung Leung Hau Ling Distinguished Fellow in Humanities; a monograph on HKU's history, in English and Chinese versions by Dr Peter Cunich, Associate Professor of History Department and Mr Fung Kam-wing, Associate Professor of School of Chinese; a monograph on the contributions made by HKU graduates over the last century.
Apart from the historical publications, there will be other heritage activities which offer different channels for general public to learn about the University's history. Those activities include: The University Archives Exhibit which will showcase many artefacts and documents that have never been exhibited before, a Heritage Walk, a musical CD Project and commemorative stamps.
Service - With Excellence We Serve
The University encourages students to serve the community with their knowledge and expertise. Experiential learning is an important component and one of the distinguishing features of the new 4-year curriculum to be implemented by the University. The Service 100 project therefore provides an excellent opportunity for students to combine academic learning and community service.
Service 100 will mobilise students and alumni, locally and across the globe, to organise over 100 community service projects. With the University's strong staff, students and alumni network, it is expected the Service 100 project will cover cities in mainland China, North America and Africa.
Other highlighted festivities
Over the past century, the University has developed into one of the top universities in the region and the world. We are fully aware that such success would not have been possible without the support of the members of the University and community partners. By organising centenary homecoming activities, such as the HKU 100 Gala Dinner and Open Days, the University hopes to not only express its sincere gratitude to its supporters, but also enhance the sense of belonging through gathering and mission sharing, and strengthen its collaboration with the community.
The Centenary celebration will be officially launched on January 9, 2011, in the inaugural HKU 100 Kick-off Ceremony to be held at the Stanley Ho Sports Centre. The event will also serve as an HKU Family Day for staff, students, alumni and their family/friends to gather together for a fun-filled fiesta. Residents from the neighbourhood and community centres will also be invited to join.
Other celebration activities are also well-received by the University Family. The Centenary Marathon Team is another record-breaker, as over 2,700 members of the University have enrolled. World-renowned pianist Dr Evgeny Igorevich Kissin will be visiting HKU again for an open dialogue. His public concert is long-awaited by many music lovers.
For the latest information of the Centenary Celebration programmes, please visit the HKU Centenary ePlatform http://100.hku.hk, which also features HKU history, pictures and other interactive elements.
The "HKU 100" symbol: http://www.hku.hk/cpaoesite/press/HKU100symbol.doc
For the speech of Professor Lap-Chee Tsui, please visit: http://www.hku.hk/cpaoesite/press/100VC-e.pdf
Please visit the photo gallery for more photos of today's event and HKU: http://www3.hku.hk/photos/index.php/for_media_only/gallery/event/detail/206
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