Once again alumni long-distance runners performed really well at the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon alongside CityU students and staff. Two particular stories stand out. Alumna Ms Lui Wai-man won the 10-kilometre Women’s Overall Challenge in a time of 38 minutes 6 seconds; while alumna Ms Pauline Cheung Pui-ling finished her 100th full marathon since 1999 at this year’s race! Congratulations to them and all the runners!
I would also like to praise once again the amazing support that CityU volunteers gave on race day. We earned 4th place in the “Most Supportive Group Award”, something that I am really proud about because it represents such great team spirit.
Team spirit is also part of the thinking behind establishing a floral symbol for CityU. We have selected the Brazil bougainvillea as our new emblem for several reasons. Like CityU, it is tough, resilient and blossoms throughout the year, and it is also a beautiful plant that adds more than a splash of colour to campus. We are now holding a photography contest to promote the symbol, inviting budding photographers to capture the beauty of this plant around our garden-like campus. The new symbol is a great way to bring the campus together in a spirit of unity.
Meanwhile, aside from running and flowers, the important business of fostering greater levels of innovation on campus was a key part of recent talks and a workshop featuring Acer founder Dr Stan Shih. These kinds of salon-like gatherings facilitate academic and cultural exchange, and provide a strong intellectual foundation for the work that we undertake at CityU.
Another area of intellectual foundation has been planned following the decision to set up collaborations with major international and local institutions with the aim to found a museum. This new CityU museum will be located on the 18th floor of the Lau Ming Wai Academic Building and will be a hub for artistic and cultural excellence.
The plans for the new museum come at a time when we are also planning the re-development of the existing sports hall site for the re-construction of a new building (AC4). This 10- to 12- storey building, which will be financed primarily through fundraising, will feature an enhanced sports hall and a new auditorium that will provide state-of-the-art facilities for art performances and events.
As an update, I am pleased to announce that the School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM) has been granted a Letter of Reasonable Assurance (Letter) by the Australasian Veterinary Boards Council (AVBC), following an accreditation visit to CityU in December 2016. Based on the Letter, SVM’s veterinary programme will gain Provisional Accreditation status on the date that the initial class is admitted in the Fall of 2017.
Another piece of good news is that CityU rose to the 12th from 16th in the latest Times Higher Education Asia University Rankings. CityU’s overall score as well as individual scores for all five indicators have gone up significantly, particularly for research, teaching and knowledge transfer.
And now to the Homecoming Gala on 19 March which was really a lot of fun for everyone. Almost 600 alumni, students, staff members and their families joined the kick-off event: a 3.2-kilometre Campus Run. Alumni hosted and performed at the kick-off ceremony and the celebrity sharing session. Film director Mr Alfred Cheung and TV host Ms Maria Cordero, BBS, MH, inspired audiences with stories about the ups and down of their lives, while veteran media professional Ms Blanche Tang hosted a talk on parental care. Workshops, a flea market, a campus visit, game booths and the lucky draw added to the day’s fun.
As is the norm with CityU, there’s a lot going on. I hope you can find some time to get involved and support us in building a thriving CityU community.
President and University Distinguished Professor
City University of Hong Kong